Greedy parents beware! Your intention to get rid of the girl child may land you in jail for life in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Omar Abdullah led government is contemplating to amend the law to make female foeticide a non-bailable offence punishable by life imprisonment in the restive Jammu and Kashmir.
Census 2011 has revealed an alarming decline in the sex ratio in Jammu and Kashmir. Figures have put the sex ratio (females per 1000 males) in Jammu and Kashmir at 883 down by nine points since the 2001 census.
“I want to create a major deterrent against this offence. This (female foeticide) is a heinous crime. I want it to be non bailable offence and the minimum punishment for those involved (including parents and doctors) should be life imprisonment”, Sham Lal Sharma, J&K health minister told DNA.
Sharma said that he wants a debate on this issue so that consensus is evolved before the law is amended or changed.
“I have put it in the public domain for discussions. Whatever consensus is formed, we will proceed accordingly”, he said.
Health minister said he would be approaching the Bar Associations in Jammu and Kashmir to solicit their support in curbing the offence.
“I am seeking support from all civil society groups. I will be approaching the Bar Associations so that lawyers will not plead the cases of those involved in the illegal practice”, he said.
What has added a new dimension to whole issue is government’s move to involve religious leaders to curb the illegal practice of female foeticide.
“I wrote to Ghanis, Pandits, Shastries and Imams about this issue and I got a very good response. Maulvis talk about this issue after azaan and Pandits also discuss during satsang. These are very encouraging indicators”, Sharma said.
The government has also endorsed the recommendation of Jammu and Kashmir state supervisory board for Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Sex Selection/Determination Act to introduce medical audit of the ultrasound clinics- centers to ensure their proper monitoring.