Police in India’s Bihar state have arrested three men posing as doctors, who performed botched sterilisation surgery on 53 women in two hours.
The tubectomy operations were carried out in a field and without the use of anaesthesia, in Araria district.
The three suspects were arrested on suspicion of “conducting unauthorised and illegal operations”, police said.
Some of the women suffered complications as a result of the surgery and were taken to hospital.
The district police chief Shivdeep Lande said the suspects had been identified as Gopal Jha, Prakash Jha and Ramanand Jha.
He said the operations were organised by a group called the Jai Ambe Welfare Society.
“The Jai Ambe Welfare Society has been regularly organising family planning camps in Bihar, putting lives of innocent women in danger,” he said.
“When I reached the spot I was surprised to find that not a single qualified doctor was present there and even the saline bottles used for the surgery were well past their expiry dates,” Chief Lande said.
Reports in the local media said the group had promised poor village women 600 rupees ($9; £7.50) and free medicines if they came for family planning operations, although it is unclear why.