KISHANGANJ, India April 5, 2011 ( – Only days after 2011 census data revealed a child-sex ratio in India of 914 girls to every 1,000 boys, police uncovered a grim confirmation of the reality of sex-selective abortions in one of the world’s most populous countries. Aborted babies, the majority of them girls, had been stuffed in plastic jars filled with chemical water and dumped on the roadside in the Kishanganj district of India’s Bihar state.

Reports vary as to the number of recovered bodies. According to India’s NDTV, sixteen fetuses were discovered near a private nursing home in Kishanganj, and a seventeenth was found near a garbage heap 70 km away in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district. Yahoo News is likewise reporting that there were seventeen, with fifteen of them girls.

The India Times and the North Korea Times put the number at seven, with five girls. According to the India Times report, of the sixteen jars originally found in Kashanganj, nine were determined to contain tumors.

The jars recovered in Kishanganj were discovered this past Sunday by children playing cricket outside a nearby school. One of the jars had a tag pasted on it, apparently identifying the baby’s mother.

According to police superintendent R.K. Mishra, the fetuses appeared to be between four and six months old.

“It shocked us and we’re taking serious action to expose the people behind the abortion racket,” Mishra said.

The bodies are believed to have originated from the nearby building which is currently being rented to a nursing home, according to the India Times. 

The newspaper reported that family members of Dr. Mohammad Shafiq Alam, who owned the building before his recent death, told police that the jars were discovered and dumped outside by “domestic help” who were cleaning the building.

Sex-selective abortions are believed to be a large contributing factor to India’s population imbalance. The sex ratio revealed by this year’s census represents the most imbalanced male-female ratio in India since the country gained independence in 1947.

A 2006 United Nations report found that as many as 7,000 unborn baby girls die each day in India due to sex-selective abortions.

Police are investigating whether the female fetuses found Sunday are the victims of such abortions, which are illegal in Bihar.