Indian doctors have been accused of conducting sex change operations on young girls whose parents want son to improve the family's income prospects.
Madhya Pradesh state government is investigating claims that up to 300 girls were surgically turned into boys in one city after their parents paid about £2,000 each for the operations.
Women's and children's rights campaigners denounced the practice as a "social madness" that made a "mockery of women in India".
India's gender balance has already been tilted in favour of boys by female foeticide – sex selection abortions - by families who fear the high marriage costs and dowries they may have to pay. There are now seven million more boys than girls aged under six in the country.
Campaigners said the use of surgery meant that girls were no longer safe even after birth.
The row emerged after newspapers disclosed children from throughout India were being operated on by doctors in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. (read more)