Nineteen aborted female foetuses were discovered by police in India's western state of Maharashtra, police said on Monday.
The foetuses were recovered from near a private hospital in the Sangli district on Sunday evening, the area's deputy police chief, Krishna Kant Upadhyay, said.
The state government ordered an inquiry amid allegations that the foetuses were aborted after sex-determination tests that are banned in India.
"We found the foetuses while we were probing the death of the woman at the hospital during an illegal abortion," Upadhyay said via telephone, adding the hospital was allegedly offering tests to determine the sex of foetuses along with abortions.
"The doctor running the hospital, who is the prime accused in the case, is absconding. We have already arrested the husband of the victim," Upadhyay said.
Despite the implementation of laws against foetal sex determination and nationwide campaigns, female foeticide is widespread in India.
Only 887 girls were born for every 1,000 boys in India in 2014, well below the global average that in 2014 was 934 girls for every 1,000 boys.
At the root of the discrimination against female children is an age-old perception that girls are an economic burden and require huge dowries, while sons are breadwinners who will look after their parents in old age.
"The incident is heinous and condemnable," Maharashtra's women and child welfare minister, Pankaja Munde, said. "The issue of saving daughters needs support from parents as well. Parents should be motivated to support their children irrespective of their child's gender."