Taking the Twitter route, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has urged his Punjab counterpart Capt Amarinder Singh to take steps against potential female foeticide. His reaction comes to a report by HT, ‘Punjab is safe haven for sex determination tests for Haryana’, that appeared on April 14. It highlighted how health department teams of the Haryana government conducted at least 22 raids during the past two years in different districts of Punjab where centres conduct illegal sex determination tests.
“I appeal to Punjab CM Sh @Capt_amarinder ji to deal with illegal sex determination centres firmly to ensure a bright future for all women,” Khattar posted along with retweeting the HT report from his personal handle, @mlkhattar; he also tagged Amarinder’s twitter handle.
It must be stated here that, for the first time in the history of Haryana, the sex ratio in the state is claimed to have touched the mark of 950 girls for every 1,000 boys in March this year. According to the 2011 Census, the number of females per 1000 males in Haryana in 2011 stood at 879 followed by Jammu and Kashmir (889) and Punjab (895).
However, in the past, Haryana’s head hung in shame for years, dragged down by the lowest sex ratio in the country. It was on January 22, 2015, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ (B3P) drive from Panipat exhorting the state to wake up. The state had a humongous task ahead. It had to particularly fight the people’s crass preference for sons and rigid biases against daughters. Hence, a B3P secretariat in May 2015 to monitor the drive against female foeticide. The result: 400 FIRs under various provisions of PNDT Act and the Medical Terminal of Pregnancy (MTP) Act till recently.
The crackdown exposed the nexus of more than 1,000 unscrupulous elements who included doctors, quacks, touts, patients and their relatives, cases against whom are currently on in lower courts and the Punjab and Haryana high court. Haryana also undertook several successful inter-state raids to prevent touts help women from accessing sex detection facilities in bordering states and has lodged 75 cross-border FIRs.