SRINAGAR: Around 42,000 girls are killed in wombs every year in J&K, said MLC and Peoples Democratic Party chief spokesperson Naeem Akhter during a threadbare discussion on female feticide in Legislative Council.
During the discussion the house members called, in unison, for an end to the menace plaguing entire Jammu and Kashmir.
Akhtar said if the menace continues, it will spark a major social crisis in the state. “It is medical terrorism,” he said. “The female ratio has dropped from 941 to 842 in 10 years.” Quoting some statistical research Naeem said Ganderbal, Budgam and Srinagar were the highest in sex ratio decline. “Experts suggest that 1400 girls a month are killed in wombs. And every year 42,000 girls are killed this way in our State. Murder is taking place. Ultrasound clinics have become business units in the state,” Akhter added.
He criticized Omar Abdullah led government for ‘failing’ to take action against the violators. “A movement should be heralded,” he suggested the house. “Whoever is involved in this crime should be punished.”
The discussion on the issue was initiated by National Conference MLC Shehnaz Ganaie who termed it a grave concern and sought government’s action to curb instances of female feticide. “It is unfortunate that such a phenomenon still persists in the state,” she said. “The sex ratio has gone down and it is an alarming situation.”
The current ratio of girls, she said, is 880 against 1000 males in J&K. “The national ratio of females is 940 against 1000 males.
Shehnaz termed State’s Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act a “loose Act” and said changes needed to be made into the law. “A girl is murdered in her mother’s womb,” she said. “Stringent laws need to be enacted to save the girl child.”
She was seconded by other leaders who also voiced similar concern over female feticide. “It is a concern for all,” said another NC MLC Bashir Ahmad Veeri. “There is a huge decline in sex ratio. The ratio used to be 927/1000 somewhere down the line. But it’s going down alarmingly.”
Veeri said there were no loopholes in the PNDT Act, but is weak at its implementation stage. “Its implementation part is must. A multipronged strategy is need of the hour,” the MLC said.
Congress MLC, G N Monga said the practice of female feticide was against every religion in the world and steps needed to be taken to stop the menace. “A stringent punishment should be in place to end the plague,” he said. “It is equivalent to murder.”
Health Minister Shabir Ahmad Khan, while responding to the points of discussion said government was doing its best to curb the menace. “We have seized number of ultrasound machines and cases have been registered against the violators,” he said. “Also, we have been conducting inspections.”
Chairman Legislative Council Amrit Malhotra told Khan that with just few cases the government cannot stop the menace. “You have to go beyond what you are doing right now,” he said. “Your success can only be marked when you prosecute violators and seize thousands of machines out there.”