Police in northern India has arrested a man who slashed his pregnant wife’s stomach with a sickle, leaving her critically ill and causing the death of their unborn baby boy.
According to the woman’s brother giving account of the incident, the attack was a result of the husband wanting to know the baby’s gender. The couple already had five daughters.
“He attacked her with a sickle and ripped her stomach saying that he wanted to check the gender of the unborn child,” the woman’s brother, Golu Singh, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The said woman was in the intensive care unit (ICU) in a hospital in the capital, New Delhi, said police in Budaun district in northern Uttar Pradesh state, following Saturday’s attack.
Police said the man had been remanded in custody and investigations are ongoing.
Several reports and surveys conducted in many parts of India have indicated that daughters are often seen as a burden with families having to pay dowries when they marry, while sons are prized as breadwinners who inherit property and continue the family name.
Indian law bans doctors and health workers from sharing an unborn child’s sex with the parents, or carrying out tests to determine the child’s gender, and only registered medical practitioners are allowed to perform abortions.
But activists say gender discrimination and female foeticide remains a huge problem across India.