Prakash Amte carried out vasectomies on Maoists in Gadchiroli

FP

Magsaysay award winner Dr Prakash Amte, son of legendary social activist Baba Amte, has conducted vasectomy surgery on Maoists at his community centre in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district. But he has said that he only did his duty as a doctor and never helped or intended to help the extremists through the procedure that has become controversial.

Surrendered Maoists have often said that they were forced to undergo sterilisation by their leaders but top Maoists have denied this and termed it as police propaganda. Chhattisgarh police have termed this operation as the "greatest violation of human rights".

The Indian Express reported in October that three ex-Maoists underwent reverse vasectomy surgeries as they wanted to become fathers and live a normal family life. According to them, nearly 40 Maoists have undergone vasectomy at Amte's

Lok Biradari Prakalp in Hemalkasa village so far and they include some top leaders and even a member of the Central Committee of CPI (Maoist).

The Indian Express has details of some of these Maoists but is withholding their names to protect their identity.

Amte admits to have conducted the operations but says he only performed his duty as a doctor and medically, it was less risky compared to abortion. Also, sometimes he was not aware of the identity of those who came for the surgery, he added.

"Several tribals in the area approach me for vasectomy or tubectomy. It becomes difficult to ascertain their identity. I opt for vasectomy as it was safer. Also, Maoists came to me for abortion of their wives, and vasectomy of their cadres. Abortion was risky for women, it endangered their life," he told The Indian Express. "There was also a possibility that if we conduct abortion once, they may come again for another abortion of the same woman. It involved great health risk for her, so I opted for the lesser evil — vasectomy. Also, I knew vasectomy was reversible."

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