A girl with her face painted with an awareness message on female feticide participates in a face-painting competition in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh, Aug. 1, 2009. Reuters

A homeopathic doctor was arrested for performing illegal abortions in southern India Monday after police found 19 female fetuses outside of his private hospital. The discovery highlights the Indian government’s fight against parents preferring male children over females to prevent sex-selective abortions.

Dr. Babasaheb Khidrapure was being held for 10-days by police after local authorities found fetuses buried in the ground, in a nearby stream and in blue plastic bags outside Bharti Hospital in the rural village of Sangli, reports said. Police made the discovery following the Feb. 28 death of Swati Jamdade, 26, because of a botched abortion.

Jamdade, who was pregnant with her third daughter, was taken to the Khidrapure's hospital for an abortion by her husband, Praveen. Jamdade’s parents sought charges against the husband Friday, prompting a police investigation that led to the 19 fetuses.

Khidrapure reportedly holds a bachelor's degree in homeopathy, a medical practice in which doctors treat ailments with minimal doses of natural substances. Though Khidrapure was not legally permitted to perform abortions, he charged $375 to $750 for the procedure for the last 10 years.

“During our probe at Khidrapure’s hospital, we came across the operation theater, delivery room and material used in the surgery, as well as the X-ray machine,” Police Superintendent Dattatray Shinde told reporters. “Both Khidrapure and his wife are homeopathy doctors with BHMS (bachelor's) degrees. They are legally not allowed to perform surgeries and do not have the skills for it.”

Dr. Khidrapure and his wife had been on the run since the fetuses were discovered Sunday, but were apprehended Monday night alongside a road in Mhaisal village where Bharti Hospital is located.

Police found two basement rooms hidden beneath the hospital containing medical equipment indicating Khidrapure terminated pregnancies in advanced stages.

The Indian government outlawed prenatal sex determination in 1994 to counteract the country’s history of sex-selective abortions. A pregnant woman was set afire by her husband’s family last year after a fortuneteller predicted she was going to have a daughter, RT reported Sept. 1.

The prevalence of widespread gender inequality in India, including sex-selective abortions, child marriages and slavery, caused it to be ranked the worst Group of 20 country for a woman by TrustLaw in 2012, a legal news service operated by Thomson Reuters Foundation.