Indian doctor arrested over dumped foetuses

Afp April 20, 2010

AHMEDABAD: A doctor has been arrested after 14 foetuses were found dumped in a garbage bin in the western city of Ahmedabad, the police said. The gynaecologist told the police that he was cleaning out his clinic when an accident damaged some jars containing the specimen foetuses. “Post mortem of the foetuses showed that they were in fact specimens that are often kept at medical colleges and clinics,” deputy commissioner of police Ajaykumar Chaudhary said.

“The report further said that the foetuses had been aborted six to seven years back.” Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation officials suggested that Jayanti Patel had dumped the specimen foetuses after closing down his clinic three weeks ago.

They were found by local residents on Monday. Police said Patel has been booked for unhygienic disposal of bio-medical waste and was being questioned further. The gender of the foetuses has not been released but the police have not yet ruled out that the case was due to illegal sex-selective abortion. Abortions of female foetuses are common in India as many parents want sons and modern technology such as ultrasound scans make it possible to know the gender of an unborn child.

In India, the preference for boys is partly due to the key role that sons play in Hindu funeral ceremonies. Other factors are the substantial dowry gifts that a father must provide for his daughter’s new family at her wedding and the fact that sons are often seen as breadwinners and daughters as financial burdens. AFP


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