Has Kashmir begun aborting its girl children?

The latest census data suggests Kashmiris have started killing their girl children -- another sad development for the troubled state if it is true. 

From a healthy ratio in 2001 of more than 1,000 girls for every 1,000 boys in six districts of the valley (the Muslim dominated "Kashmir" area of the state of Jammu & Kashmir), all the ten districts in the region have shown the numbers going down to fewer than 900 girls for every 1,000 boys in this age category in the 2011 census, reports the Hindustan Times

The sharp downward trend has taken the overall sex ratio in the state for this age group from 941 in 2001 to 859 in 2011, the paper said.

The situation is worse in the Jammu region, where in one district the census found only 787 girls to 1000 boys, and in another only 795 girls for 1000 boys.

Curiously, the worst ratio was found in the mostly Buddhist district of Leh, where the census found just 583 girls per 1000 boys, according to India's DNA newspaper. Those figures are being hotly contested locally, however.

Across India, provisional 2011 census data shows that the sex ratio dropped to 914 girls per 1000 boys from 927 to 1000 in the 2001 tally. This year's figure marked the lowest gender ratio since India won independence from Britain in 1947, and has prompted calls to revise the country's abortion laws -- though using ultrasound to determine the gender of unborn babies and sex-selective abortions are already illegal.