Washington: An Indian-origin female doctor in the US was arrested and charged with performing female genital mutilation on girls as young as six-year-old.

Jumana Nagarwala, 44, was charged with performing the procedure on six- to eight-year old girls at a medical clinic in Livonia, Michigan, reported WXYZ TV channel on Thursday.

Nagarwala, who is an emergency room physician at a hospital, was investigated after the authorities received a tip-off. If found guilty, she faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Female genital mutilation was made illegal in the US in 1996.

According to a criminal complaint, some of the children were brought from out of state for the illegal procedure.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is considered the complete removal or partial removal of the clitoris, known as a clitoridectomy. FGM is internationally recognised as a violation of the human rights of women and girls. Prosecutors said Nagarwala had performed "horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims", according to the report.

Some travelled to her practice from outside the state of Michigan and were told not to talk about the procedure, they added.

Nagarwala appeared in a federal court in Detroit and was remanded in custody.

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