Lucknow: Alarmed by the latest census report confirming a steep fall in the male-female ratio in Uttar Pradesh - India`s most populous state - a leading cleric from a prominent Islamic seminary here Wednesday issued a strong `fatwa` against female foeticide.
"Even though the law does not permit it, people are openly violating the rules and getting their female child aborted across Uttar Pradesh," Lucknow`s Naib Imam and head of the city`s oldest Islamic seminary, Darul Uloom Firangi Mahal, said.
Responding to a query made by Huma Khwaja, a professor in a local degree college, Maulana Khalid Rasheed issued a fatwa banning both sex determination and abortion of female embryo.
"Abortion was strictly banned under Islam and the latest census report has clearly shown that it was large-scale abortion of female foetus that has led to a high disproportion between the male and female population in Uttar Pradesh," he said.
"I, therefore, feel that timely action alone can save the situation from turning worse," Maulana Rasheed pointed out.
According to the census report, disproportionate male-female ratio was found in as many as 63 of Uttar Pradesh`s 71 districts.
Even as the state`s population has gone up by three crore over the past 10 years, the number of female child in the age group of 0-6 years has dropped by 10 lakh, according to the report.
The male-female child sex ratio which stood at 1000:916 in 2001 was found to have slipped to 1000:899 in 2011.
Meanwhile, the number of ultrasound centres rose from about 400 in 2001 to more than 4,000 now. The Maulana was of the view that many of these ultrasound centres were indulging in illegal sex determination.