Second Doctor Has Been Arrested in Female Genital Mutilation Case

Another Detroit doctor and wife arrested in ongoing case of alleged female mutilation by Indian-American physician

Another Detroit doctor and wife arrested in ongoing case of alleged female mutilation by Indian-American physician

The arrests come just a week after the arrest of Jumana Nagarwala, a MI doctor who is the first in the U.S.to be charged with female genital mutilation.

Investigators interviewed and examined two seven-year-old girls who appeared to have undergone FGM by Nagarwala in February this year.

Investigators say the couple knew Dr. Jumana Nagarwala was circumcising girls at the Livonia clinic after hours. The clinic is owned and operated by Fakhruddin Attar, where Farida Attar also works, according to the criminal complaint.

"Dr. Attar is not aware that any crimes were committed at his clinic", defense attorney Mary Chartier said outside court.

Matt Newburg, a lawyer for Farida Attar, declined to comment.

An organisation representing the Dawoodi Bohra community in Detroit released a statement on Friday saying that "any violation of U.S. law is counter to instructions to our community members".

She has been charged with female genital mutilation, transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and conspiracy, and making a false statement to a federal officer.

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Her parents told investigators they had taken the girl to see Nagarwala in MI for a "cleansing".

Female genital mutilation involves removing external female genitalia partially or in full, sometimes for religious or cultural reasons. Some say it is done to suppress female sexuality and control women. The Attars have been charged with conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation and aiding and abetting. The others denied any knowledge of the practice, but according to wiretapped conversations between Nagarwala and Mrs. Attar, Nagarwala advised parents to deny knowing about FGM should they be asked by federal law enforcement authorities. "The community is reeling under extreme shock and I have been unable to sleep last night", said entrepreneur Ubbey Lokhandwala, Attar's close friend in Surat. FGM has been a crime under federal law since 1996 and is punishable by up to five years in prison, however it is not a crime in 26 U.S. states, including MI.

Further investigation found other children in MI underwent the illegal procedure at Attar's office from 2005 to 2017, according to the complaint.

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. FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of women and girls.

The Bohras' spiritual leader, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, issued a statement a year ago saying that female genital mutilation, known as khatna within the community, should not be performed in countries where it is illegal, but he left open the possibility of practicing it in other countries.

"The Dawoodi Bohras do not support the violation of any USA law, local, state or federal".

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