Charges Dropped Against Indian-Origin Doctor Who Performed Genital Mutilation on Nine Minor Girls

FGM is a tradition in many cultures, which is performed by intentionally cutting or removing external female genitalia.


A U.S. court has dropped key charges against an Indian-origin doctor, who performed Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on at least nine underaged girls in the U.S. This ruling has outraged the people who have been raising their voice against such inhumane traditional practice.

While quashing almost all the charges against Indian-origin doctor Jamuna Nagarwala, 44, and two others, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said that American law over this practice is unconstitutional, reported PTI.

FGM is a tradition in many cultures, which is performed by intentionally cutting or removing external female genitalia. Internationally, it is considered a human rights violation.

Other than Jumana, Fakhruddin Attar, 53, and his wife, Farida Attar, 50, were facing court proceedings in April 2017 related to genital mutilation of at least nine underaged girls.

The judge said that Congress was not authorized to pass the law against Female Genital Mutilation, reported the New York Times.

“As laudable as the prohibition of a particular type of abuse of girls may be,” judge wrote in judgment adding that prosecutors have failed to prove that the federal government has right to bring such charges.

The publication quoted the judge from his 28-page ruling as saying, “Federalism concerns deprive Congress of the power to enact this statute.”

He said that Congress overstepped its boundaries by legislating to prohibit FGM.

“FGM is a ‘local criminal activity’ which, in keeping with longstanding tradition and our federal system of government, is for the states to regulate, not Congress,” the judge said as per the report.

U.S. Attorney’s Office said that the judge’s opinion is being reviewed by the government and after the review, it will be decided on whether or not to appeal.

Maintaining the stance of Nagarwala’s “no involvement” in FGM, her lawyer Shannon Smith said that they are confident of their win even if the government opts to appeal.

Sahiyo is a group of Dawoodi Bohra community members who have been raising their voice against FGM. Its co-founder Mariya Taher appreciated that ruling didn’t approve FGM and said that states have the options to bring cases in these matters.

But at the same time, she is worried that supporters of FGM can draw the wrong conclusion from the ruling.

“Is this something that proponents will use as a reason to say that ‘what we do isn’t harmful,’ almost giving them permission to do this?” she said in NYT report.

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