Dozens of plastic bags filled with body parts of female fetuses and newborn girls were discovered in an abandoned well in eastern India. It is believed that they were victims of their parent’s will to have boys.
Investigators suspect a nearby medical clinic performed the abortions and possibly killed the infants at the parents' request because they were female, although authorities have yet to conclusively determine the sex of the babies, said Yogesh Bahadur Khurania, a senior police official in the state of Orissa, on India's eastern coast.
He said police were also still trying to figure out how many babies had been dumped in the well near the Krishna Clinic. But the CNN-IBN television news channel said authorities in Orissa believed as many as 37 bodies of infant girls had been found.
Khurania said police suspect the clinic in Nayagarh, roughly 90 kilometers (56 miles) west of Bhubaneswar, was determining the sex of fetuses - a practice that is illegal in India but remains widespread.
Many Indian families see daughters as a liability because of a tradition requiring a bride's family to pay the groom's family a large dowry of cash and gifts. Girls often don't receive the same education as boys and many don't get adequate medical treatment.
International groups estimate that some 10 million female fetuses have been aborted in India over the last two decades.
Khurania said the owner of the clinic, Sabita Sahu, and the manager, Shyma Sahu, have been detained for questioning.
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