Madhya Pradesh reported the highest number of foeticides and infanticides across all states in the country, show statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2012.
More than 30% of foeticides — aborting the foetus — and 20% of infanticides — killing of a child before the age of one — took place in the state last year. In other words, out of the 210 foeticides reported throughout the country, 64 (30.84%) occurred in the state, while 17 (20.99%) out of the 81 reported cases of infanticide were from the state.
Although the NCRB data do not specify the sex of the foeti, it is anybody’s guess that most of them were female.
Worse, the number of foeticides in the state has surged by 68% in 2012 from 38 cases in 2011, which was also the highest across the country that year. In addition, the number of infanticide cases rose by 23% from 13 the previous year.
Even states like Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, which are notorious for discriminating against the girl child, recorded lower number of foeticide cases than MP, with figures of 37, 28 and 25 respectively, last year.
Despite the state government’s efforts to portray the success of schemes such as Beti Bachao (Save the Girl Child) campaign, Ladli Laxmi Yojana and Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana, not only the NCRB figures, but also the Census 2011, portray a grim picture. The Census had shown that child sex ratio — number of girls below the age of six per 1,000 boys — had dropped to 918 from 932 in the state.
According to Rolly of NGO Vikas Samvad, analysis of official figures of abortions after three months of pregnancy shows a constant rise during the last 10 years.
Dr Sanjay Goel, director of health department and in-charge of pre-conception and pre-natal diagnostic techniques (PC&PNDT) Act implementation, said he was yet to see the NCRB report.
“We would take whatever action necessary and prepare an action plan to tackle the situation,” he added.