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Cat & mouse game to outwit enemies of girl child in Haryana

Ranjeet Jamwal | Chandigarh |

It’s a cat and mouse game played away from the public eye. From using tracking devices to sending beyond suspicion decoy patients and following long distance travelling touts without detection, Haryana’s much appreciated Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) campaign involves finding innovative methods and techniques to bust sex-determination (SD) centres in and outside the state.

Having filed 506 first information reports (FIRs), including 108 in other states, since the launch of BBBP in Haryana in May 2015, it’s becoming a tougher fight to save the girl child as SD centres have been using innovative methods to escape the law.

Though the enemies of the girl child are finding new ways to carry on sex determination, raid teams have been proving equally clever at cracking the new strategies adopted by the accused.

In one such case, the doctor involved in sex determination used to get his fees a week before and after the test through a third person so that even if he was caught, there would be no money trail to prove the crime. In another case, money was transferred online to a third person’s bank account. Despite that both these rackets were busted.

Likewise, a tout took his clients ~ a decoy pregnant women and her attendant ~ first in a public transport bus, then an auto and took rounds of several streets to see if someone was following them. Once assured, he took his clients to the top floor of a house deep inside the town where an illegal sex-determination machine was stationed.

However, the racket was busted and the raid team caught the culprits red-handed. “It’s not easy to bust a sex determination racket.

Many a times, our teams go to other states and there is fear for their lives. But as the highest political leadership and state administration is supporting the BBBP programme, it’s making all the difference,” Additional Principal Secretary to the CM, Rakesh Gupta told The Statesman.

“Such criminal-minded people even file counter cases against our officers, but they don’t fear. The biggest thing is every district now has champions of BBBP. It can be a drug controller, deputy commissioner, superintendent of police, chief medical officer or anyone else who are going all out against female foeticide. They believe what they are doing is right and the CM’s (Manohar Lal Khattar’s) support is there for them,” Gupta, who is in-charge of the BBBP campaign in the CM’s office (CMO), added.

It is generally female police constables, ANMs (auxiliary nurse midwife) and accredited social health activists (ASHAs) and pharmacists who serve as decoy customers.

“Young women serving as decoy customers are doing great service as they risk not only their life but also that of their unborn child,” said an official of the BBBP cell. He said the risk of physical injury is also there as many a times the raid teams are attacked by those indulging in sex determination.