Bilaspur: The doctor who performed mass sterilization surgeries in Chhattisgarh on Saturday, after which 11 women died, has been arrested. Dr RK Gupta was picked up for questioning last night and has been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
"It was not my fault - the administration pressured me to meet targets," the doctor said while being led away. "The surgeries went well but the problem was with the medicines given to the women," he alleged.
The 59-year-old doctor operated on 83 women in five hours at the Nemi Chand Jain hospital in Bilaspur, which had not been in use since April. Eight women died on Monday and three more died on Tuesday. Sixty women are being treated in various hospitals.
Dr Gupta was suspended on Tuesday by the state government, which had awarded him on Republic Day January 26 for a record 100,000 surgeries in his career.
This morning, another death was reported in a sterilization camp held on Monday at Gaurela, around 100 km from the site of Saturday's camp in Bilaspur. Four women were taken to hospital after botched surgeries; one died and three are being treated.
The "family planning" camps are held as part of India's long-running programme to control its billion-plus population.
When NDTV visited the hospital in Bilaspur's Pendari, where Saturday's sterilization surgeries were performed, a guard revealed that no patient had been treated there for months and it had not even the most basic infrastructure such as beds, stretchers and surgical equipment.
Only broken tables and chairs passed for furniture in the abandoned hospital and mattresses were stacked on the ground. Reports suggest that women were made to lie on the floor for the surgeries.
Some of the women may have died of toxic shock because of contaminated surgical equipment, Amar Singh Thakur, Bilaspur's Joint Director of Health, told NDTV.
A team of doctors from Delhi's premier AIIMS hospital is in Bilaspur to investigate what happened.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court refused to intervene, saying Chief Minister Raman Singh was taking steps, but the Chhattisgarh High Court has asked for a detailed report within 10 days.