An Indian doctor who conducted mass sterilisations that killed 13 women has been taken into custody, after saying he was being made a scapegoat for a controversial family planning scheme.
R. K. Gupta was detained for questioning amid mounting anger over the botched operations in central Chhattisgarh state, where women were paid to undergo a procedure that also left dozens in hospital, police said Thursday.
Gupta operated on 83 women in just five hours — spending an average of less than four minutes on each patient — at a state-run camp in Bilaspur district at the weekend.
The impoverished women were paid 1,400 rupees ($23) to undergo the surgery.
“He has been taken into custody. He will be produced in the court in the afternoon today. He is likely to be arrested soon after,” police inspector general Pawan Deo said from Bilaspur, adding that medical equipment used at the camp would be seized.
Gupta said the government was wrongly accusing him and blamed the drugs that were used during the surgery, as activists called for India’s family planning scheme to be overhauled.