Mumbai: Maharashtra Health Minister Eknath Shinde reportedly said that the state government has set up a committee to probe into the forced Hysterectomy incidents that have come to light in Beed district. During an Assembly meeting in the State Legislative Council on Tuesday, a Shiv Sena member had said that some women engaged in sugarcane cutting work in Beed got their wombs removed as it posed a hindrance in work and to avoid fines due to menstruation.

Responding to a question raised by Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gohre, Shinde stated, “Government has set up a committee headed by the principal secretary of the Maharashtra health department which will conduct a probe.”

The state Health minister added that around 4,605 women had undergone womb removal surgeries in Beed district in the last three years. He said, “A committee headed by Beed district’s civil surgeon found that 99 private hospitals carried out 4,605 womb removal surgeries from 2016-17 to 2018-19.”  Moreover, a sizable number of women who underwent the womb removal surgery were not involved in sugarcane cutting work, added Shinde.

The minister also pointed out that the percentage of natural deliveries was higher than the cesarean ones in the district. The committee comprises three gynaecologists and also some representatives of women lawmakers. The task of the committee is to submit a fact-finding report in two months on the hysterectomies in Beed, said Shinde.

Moreover, the state government has instructed all the surgeons to not conduct hysterectomy unnecessarily.  Earlier in April, the National Commission for Women had issued a notice to the state chief secretary in one such case. The commission noted that it was seriously concerned about the pathetic and miserable condition of such women and the crimes and atrocities being perpetrated on them.

As per a report, many women in Beed had hysterectomies as a “norm”. They had to remove the uterus after having two to three children as the menstrual periods were considered to hinder work and attract fines.

(With inputs from PTI)