Second doctor, wife charged in female genital mutilation probe

Fakhruddin Attar

Federal officials launched an investigation after being tipped off that Nagarwala performed the procedure on two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota who were brought by their families to MI for the procedure, according to the complaint.

A review of Nagarwala's phone records led authorities to two 7-year-old girls who traveled with their parents to MI from Minnesota in February so they could undergo the procedure.

According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, Fakhruddin Attar owns Burhani Medical Clinic and his wife works as an office manager.

According to the complaint, Attar and his wife, worked with Nagarwala to bring girls "approximately six to eight years old" to the clinic after it was closed to perform FGM. As of Friday, the doctor who owns the clinic and his wife have both been arrested and charged in connection with the case. It's not known whether they have lawyers who could comment on the allegations.

An attorney for Nagarwala said she was performing a religious ritual, not a mutilation.

According to news reports, Nagarwala belongs to the Dawoodi Bohra community, a sect of Muslims hailing from India.

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Since being charged, Dr Nagarwala has been placed on leave from her emergency room position at a local hospital.

According to the complaint, the case against Nagarwala and the Attars dates to at least February, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation had received information that the procedure was being performed at the clinic.

Female genital mutilation involves removing external female genitalia partially or in full, sometimes for religious or cultural reasons.

It's created to suppress female sexuality and reduce sexual pleasure and promiscuity.

Several minor girls informed forensic personnel that Nagarwala had performed the procedure on their genitals while one minor girl said Farida had been present when Nagarwala did the deed.

In federal court today, prosecutors wanted to have both 53-year-old Dr. Attar and his 50-year-old wife held without bond until their case is resolved, but that won't happen without a fight from their defense attorneys. Investigators talked to seven other young girls in MI, several of whom said that they had undergone procedures at the clinic.

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She said Nagarwala "pinched" her genitals and that she was given a pad to place in her underwear.

Smith argued the procedure is practiced by the Dawoodi Bohra, an Islamic sect based in India, and that the clinic was used to keep procedures sterile, WXYZ reported. The World Health Organization considers the procedure a violation of human rights of girls and women.

"I think it's shocking", Chartier said.

Investigators are concerned there could be more victims.

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

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