India

Indian men arrested for trying to bury baby girl alive

A baby's hand rests on a woman's hand

Police in northern India have arrested a baby girl's father and uncle for allegedly trying to bury her alive.

The two-month-old baby's father said he had been advised by a spiritual guru to bury her to help secure the good health of his next child, police allege.

Baby Radhika has acute malnutrition and is receiving treatment at a hospital in the town of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh state, 80km (50 miles) east of Delhi.

India has one of the highest female infant mortality rates in the world.

The Indian preference for boys has also led to a skewed sex ratio and campaigners say up to eight million female foetuses may have been aborted in the past decade.

Baby Radhika's life was saved on Wednesday in the Uttar Pradesh town of Pilkhua, not far from Meerut.

"The caretaker of the burial ground informed us that some people had brought a baby for burial, but she was crying," police officer BK Yadav told the BBC.

By the time the police reached the ground, Radhika's parents and uncle had already dug a pit, police say. The baby was wrapped in a cloth along with some religious symbols.

Police said they arrested the father and uncle, but let the mother go on "humanitarian grounds".

Mr Yadav said the mother was in hospital taking care of the baby girl.

Police have registered a case of attempted murder and conspiracy.

More on this story