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A warped dad-of-five allegedly sliced open his wife’s belly to see what gender their unborn child was.
The depraved Indian man, identified only as Pannalal, carried out the barbaric act because he only had daughters and was desperate for a son, relatives said.
One was reported as saying: “Pannalal wanted a son and committed the crime to know if it was male or female foetus”.
Pravin Singh Chauhan, a senior police official, told the NDTV news network that the pregnant woman was seriously injured.
He said: “The man has been arrested. We are looked into the reasons behind the crime."
The husband used a sharp object to cut into the woman’s stomach in Budaun in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, according to the network.
Horrified locals immediately rushed the woman to the district hospital, and then to Bareilly hospital in a critical condition.
She remains fighting for life and it is unknown whether her or her baby will survive the butchery.
The woman is believed to be six or seven months pregnant.
Her husband was detained by cops and remains in custody.
Sons are often preferred in Indian cultures. A study into deaths of baby girls by the Asian Centre for Human Rights, a Delhi-based non-governmental organisation, found that India has one of the highest rates in the world.
Many couples abort their unborn daughters once they find out the gender for financial and social reasons.
A 2007 report by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) said: "Parents expect sons—but not daughters—to provide financial and emotional care, especially in their old age.
“Sons add to family wealth and property while daughters drain it through dowries. Sons continue the family lineage while daughters are married away to another household. Sons perform important religious roles and sons defend or exercise the family's power while daughters have to be defended and protected, creating a perceived burden on the household.”
The study found families are more likely to welcome a daughter if they already have sons.
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