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The 16-year-old-girl from Tamil Nadu who was allegedly forced to sell her oocytes to private fertility centres by her mother, tried to take her life at a government shelter home late at night in Erode on Wednesday, 29 June.
The girl was lodged in the shelter home after the police arrested her mother and three others for the forcible donation.
She reportedly drank floor disinfectant and was rushed to Erode government medical college hospital. Her health condition is stable, said the police.
The girl had repeatedly requested the authorities to allow her to go to her relative’s place in Salem. This was denied as the investigation in the case is underway, they added.
Felling depressed, she took the extreme step because she was not allowed to visit relatives as investigation in the case is underway, the police said.
Three persons, including the minor girl’s mother, the mother’s paramour, and a female intermediary were arrested in Erode on 3 June for forcing the girl to donate her eggs eight times at private fertility clinics and hospitals in Erode, Salem, Perundurai, and Hosur. They were booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The 16-year-old girl had alleged that she had been living with her 38-year-old mother S Indirani alias Sumiya and 40-year-old A Syed Ali since the age of three. Police investigation revealed that from the age of 12, Ali sexually assaulted her many times in the presence of her mother. They had managed to procure a new Aadhaar card with a different name and 1995 as the girl's birth year.
Police told The Quint that the girl had alleged that for every transaction, her mother and Syed Ali received Rs 20,000, while Malathi received Rs 5,000 from the hospitals.
A senior investigation officer probing the case said that apart from several places in Tamil Nadu, the minor’s family had traveled to Kerala and Andhra Pradesh to sell her oocytes.
Dr J Radhakrishnan, Principal Secretary (Heath) had told The Quint that every hospital should adhere to the guidelines of the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill while taking donations of embryo for surrogacy.
A Viswanathan, joint director of Medical and Rural Health Services, said that licenses of hospitals found guilty of illegal extraction of oocytes would be cancelled. Doctors, if they were complicit in the crime, will also face action, he added.
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