30 bags full of baby bones found in Orissa

The incident follows a Delhi doctor's arrest, on suspicion of illegally aborting 260 female foetuses, last month.
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Updated on Jul 23, 2007 03:58 PM IST
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Reuters | By, Bhubaneswar

Thirty polythene bags stuffed with the body parts of female foetuses and newly born babies have been found in a dry well near a private clinic in Orissa, police said on Monday.

Police suspect the body parts -- mainly skulls and bones -- were dumped in the well shortly after birth or abortion at the clinic in Nayagarh district, 90 km southwest of Bhubaneswar.

The manager of the clinic has been arrested.

"Prima facie seems to indicate female foeticide but we can't be sure until forensic examinations are conducted," said BK Sharma, Orissa's crime branch inspector-general of police.

Despite laws banning sex determination tests, the killing of female foetuses is still common in India, where the preference for sons runs deep. Infanticide is also practised in some areas.

Police said they searched the well after seven female foetuses, also packed into polythene bags, were found dumped in a deserted area in a nearby village a week ago.

Officials said they believed the two cases were linked and are part of an organised racket involved in female foeticide.

The government says around 10 million girls have been killed by their parents -- either before or immediately after birth -- over the past 20 years.

Last month, a doctor was arrested on suspicion of illegally aborting 260 female foetuses after police recovered bones from the septic tank in the basement of his maternity clinic in the outskirts of New Delhi.

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