Mumbai: The Maharashtra police have found 19 aborted female foetuses wrapped in blue plastic bags and buried near a sewer in a village in the state’s Sangli district, in what they called a “feoticide racket” run by a homeopathy doctor who is on the run.
The alleged racket was unearthed after a 26-year-old woman died during a failed abortion at the clinic of the doctor, who is not qualified to do surgeries. The foetuses were found late on Sunday in a sewer next to the clinic run by the doctor, Babasaheb Khidrapure, in Mhaisal village, a police officer said. The police, he said, were trying to arrest the man.
The woman’s husband has been arrested. The police allege that he pressured his wife to abort the child when he learned that it was a girl. Prenatal sex tests are illegal in India, a policy designed to stop unborn girls being aborted by parents desperate for a boy. Parents and doctors can be jailed for up to five years for requesting or conducting such tests to determine a child’s gender. But the tests are still thought to be common, particularly in poor rural areas, and sex ratios are skewed towards males across the country.
“This is a disgusting incident. Investigations are on. I will myself go to Sangli to hold a meeting there,” said Pankaja Munde, Maharashtra’s Minister for Women and Child Development.
In Sangli, there were just 867 girls per 1,000 boys, the 2011 census showed. The average across the country was 940 per 1,000, up from 933 in the 2001 census.
A 2011 study in the British medical journal The Lancet found that up to 12 million girls had been aborted in the last three decades in India. Only 50 were reported last year to the police, one in Maharashtra.