Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ordered a crackdown on illegal sex determination centres in Punjab.
The move came a day after Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar tweeted to him for firm action on such centres.
"Taking serious note of the illegal sex determination issue raised by his Haryana counterpart,... Amarinder Singh has ordered a crackdown on all sex determination centres alleged to be running in the state," a spokesperson for the Punjab Chief Minister said.
"Reacting swiftly to... Khattar's appeal to deal firmly with illegal sex determination centres, Amarinder Singh directed the state Health Department to take immediate and stern action against all such activities," the spokesperson said.
Haryana and Punjab have worst sex ratios (number of females per 1,000 males). In both states it was less than 900 earlier.
In recent years, the Haryana government initiated a series of steps to clamp down on illegal sex determination.
Health authorities and police in Haryana even raided testing centres in neighbouring Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttarakhand to stop the illegal sex determination tests.
Khattar recently announced that the sex ratio at birth in Haryana, which was just 857 earlier, has now improved to 938.
Amarinder Singh made it clear to the Health Department officials that any laxity in this matter would be treated as complicity and warned that strict action would be taken against those found guilty of negligence in acting against such centres.
He also directed the police to extend full cooperation to the Health Department in conducting surprise raids to identify health centres flouting the law, which usually leads to abortion of the female foetus, resulting in the skewed sex ratio in the state.
Amarinder Singh said that his government would once again go all out to save the girl child by cracking the whip on all illegal sex scan centres.
"Doctors, nurses, ancillary medical staff and others found involved in the conduct of illegal tests of this kind will be booked immediately, followed by exemplary punishment under the law," he warned.
The Punjab Chief Minister also took cognizance of reports that the Haryana government's Health Department had conducted nearly two dozen raids across Punjab's districts to identify several illegal scan centres in the past two years.
Terming this as a serious matter, Amarinder Singh said, "Total lawlessness was prevailing under the erstwhile SAD-BJP rule that had led to this situation, which my government is now working hard to amend."