States & UTs

    Pregnancy tests for mass marriage ceremony: Kamal Nath seeks NCW probe

    April27/ 2023


    Bhopal: Amid controversy over to be brides allegedly made to undergo pregnancy test in Madhya Pradesh's Dindori district, Congress leader Kamal Nath on Thursday shot off a letter to National Commission for Women seeking a high-level probe into the matter.

    Condemning the alleged incident, state Congress unit chief Nath, termed it as an "insult" to the women and questioned the legality of "testing" procedures.

    Former Chief Minister Nath in his letter to NCW chairman Rekha Sharma alleged that on April 22, over 100 women had to undergo "pregnancy test", which is against the "privacy of the women".

    He mentioned that the administration did not only conduct "pregnancy tests" but also made it public, and therefore, this "issue need a high-level inquiry from the NCW."

    Further, Nath mentioned that despite "growing atrocities" against women in the state, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government is tightlipped and "insulting" the women with such unethical "pregnancy tests".

    "You are requested to conduct a high-level inquiry on Dindori's issue and punish the officials who insulted the women by conducting their pregnancy tests," Nath wrote in his letter to NCW Chairman Rekha Gupta.

    A mass marriage of 220-odd women under the Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivah Yojana was scheduled in the Gadsarai area on April 22. But of them, the marriages of five girls could not solemnise as they were found to be pregnant.

    The controversy erupted a day later when a local Congress MLA Omkar Singh Markam claimed that he has received information that five women were "disqualified" for marriage after they tested positive for "pregnancy tests".

    However, Dindori district administration maintained that "no order was issued for pregnancy tests", and a test for sickle cell anemia (a genetic disorder reported among tribals) was carried out on all.

    During those tests, it was found that five women had missed their menstrual cycles. Subsequently, the doctors carried out the urine tests of the five women, during which it was established that they were pregnant.

    Officials have also said that "pregnancy tests" were conducted at the behest of higher authorities on some girls whose cases were "suspected". IANS