Born doctor, wife charged in genital mutilation probe

Born doctor, wife charged in genital mutilation probe

Born doctor, wife charged in genital mutilation probe

An India-born doctor and his wife have been arrested and charged with helping another Indian-origin doctor perform genital mutilations, a procedure that is criminalised in the United States, on minor girls.

One of the unnamed seven-year-old girls told investigators that in addition to Nagarwala, "two other adult women were present in the examining room during the procedure, and that the two women held her hands during the procedure", identifying Farida Attar as one of them, according to the complaint.

The couple is alleged to have allowed Ms Nagarwala access to the clinic, where she worked with Mrs Attar to perform the operation on girls between the ages of six to eight.

In a court filing, federal agents said they interviewed Dr. Attar and were told that Nagarwala treats girls who have problems with their genitals, including rashes, on Friday nights or Saturdays at no charge.

"Dr. Attar is not aware of any crimes committed at his clinic", defense lawyer Mary Chartier told reporters outside court. Attorney Shannon Smith says Nagarwala removed only mucous from two Minnesota girls in February and then handed the gauze to the family for burial as part of a religious ceremony. It is now believed that that community is the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim sect, whose world leader, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, has called for the tradition to continue. After the procedure she could barely walk, and it hurt all the way down to her ankle.

Investigators in MI have identified other children who may have also had the illegal procedure performed by Nagarwala between 2005 and 2007. Though Nagarwala has been charged with two violations of the federal law, the FBI said they believe there are more victims.

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The revelation came during a detention hearing on Monday, a few days after Jumana Nagarwala was charged in what authorities say is the first case of its kind in the country.

The child victim also stated that she said she had to go to the doctor "to get the germs out".

The organizations, which operates out of a mosque in Farmington Hills, stressed that it has issued a written statement instructing its members not to practice genital mutilation because it is illegal in the U.S. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is considered the complete removal or partial removal of the clitoris, known as a clitoridectomy.

In the USA, 25 states have passed their own laws against FGM in recent years, and others are mulling similar legislation.

Reuters reported that a 2014 study estimated that as many as 200,000 women and girls in England and Wales have either undergone FGM, or have been at risk of being victimized.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco called the doctor's alleged procedures "horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims".

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