Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan ordered a state-wide crackdown on unregistered or illegal sonography centres conducting sex determination tests of foetuses. While the drive is at present concentrated in Beed district of Marathwada, it will be soon taken up in other parts of the state, Chavan told media persons here. Special teams of medicos and officials from local civic bodies and government are concentrating on unauthorized sonography centres functioning in different parts of the state. BMC survey teams sealed two sonography machines on Wednesday.
“The government has taken up the issue of female foeticide very seriously. The issue in Beed is of extreme concern,” said a grim Chavan. ”It is quite possible that some of the sonography machines are second-hand and some may be smuggled from abroad,” he added, pointing out to instances where sonography centres are being run from homes. Chavan’s statement comes in the wake of a series of crackdowns on sonography centres in Beed after at least three female foetuses were found discarded in the town last week.
Similar raids have been carried out in the past few days in Aurangabad, Nashik and other smaller cities to identify and close down illegal sonography clinics. State Minister for Women and Child Development Varsha Gaikwad is Friday scheduled to hold a meeting with representatives of Indian Medical Association and Sonography Machines Manufacturers Association to discuss the entire issue.
There have been instances in the past when couples have visited sonography centres situated in small towns to carry out sex determination tests for aborting female foetuses. On another front, the state government is contemplating regulating over-the-counter sale of abortion pills to which youngsters have easy and unrestricted access, official sources said.