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Indian Doctor Arrested Over Sterilization Deaths

R.K.Gupta, a doctor who performed sterilization surgeries at a government mass sterilization "camp," sits at a police station in Bilaspur, in the eastern Indian state of Chhattisgarh, Nov. 13, 2014.

Police in central India have arrested a doctor who performed sterilization procedures at a government run health camp that left at least 13 women dead.

Officials say Dr. R.K. Gupta was taken into custody late Wednesday in Chhattisgarh state. He has denied responsibility for the deaths and said the women became ill due to tainted post-surgery medication.

The doctor is reported to have performed sterilization surgeries on more than 80 people in less than six hours on Saturday.

Sonmani Borah, the commissioner for India’s Bilaspur district, said the women were sent home after their surgeries, but some were later admitted to a hospital after falling ill. Borah cited "reports of a drop in pulse, vomiting and other ailments started pouring in on Monday from the women who underwent surgery."

Sterilization is one of the most popular methods of birth control in India, with some local governments offering additional incentives to those who volunteer to undergo the procedure.

Authorities in eastern India came under fire last year after a news channel broadcast footage showing scores of women dumped unconscious in a field following a mass sterilization.