A villager rescued a 7-year-old Indian girl who survived allegedly being strangled and then buried while unconscious by her family in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
“There are strangulation marks around the girl’s neck,” Sitapur police chief Rajesh Krishna told the BBC.
The villager discovered the little girl when he followed the sound of muffled cries coming from the middle of a cane field. The youth had managed to scrape her way out of her shallow grave once she regained consciousness and made her way to the surface where she was able to breathe fresh air again.
“Then she sat there and cried loudly when the villager spotted her,” said Krishna. The villager immediately alerted police, who took the youth to a hospital where she has been treated and is reportedly doing fine.
Police allege the girl’s uncle and aunt had promised to take her to a fair, but instead took her to a field where they strangled and buried her near a village where she lives, reports the BBC. They are searching for her mother, aunt, and uncle, all of whom they believe have fled their respective places of residence.
The girl’s parents are reportedly separated and she was living with her mother. When authorities spoke with the father, he told them that he had no idea about the attempted murder of his daughter.
A motive for the attack has not yet been determined, notes the BBC. It is not uncommon for baby girls to be killed in India, particularly among poorer communities where women and girls are seen as a financial burden on families.
In 2012, a similar incident occurred in Uttar Pradesh in which a father and uncle allegedly attempted to bury a baby girl alive as a sacrifice which they were told would protect the health of their other children, according to the BBC. The men were provided with the advice from a spiritual guru in their region.
Female children are often seen as being inferior to male children in Indian society, irregardless of the caste from which they are from, their religion, or their social status in society.