Indian man discovers baby girl buried alive as he lays own child to rest 

As he attempted to lay his own daughter to rest, a grieving father in northern India was shocked to discover a baby girl buried alive in the same cemetery.

Hitesh Kumar Sirohi, a trader from the rural Bareilly district in Uttar Pradesh state, heard crying nearby and found the abandoned infant inside a burial pot three metres underground.

He had been attempting to dig a grave for his own daughter who died after being born seven months prematurely.

Mr Sirohi said he removed the baby girl from a pot in a cremation ground and fed her milk through cotton wool before calling the police and an ambulance. 

She is now being cared for at a private hospital where staff have named her Sita.

They say while it is not known how long she was buried for they expect the baby girl to make a full recovery. 

“We are now trying to find the parents of the baby. We will take strict action against those who have buried the infant alive,” a police spokesperson said.

Police have launched an investigation although it is believed to be the latest case of attempted female infanticide in Uttar Pradesh.

In January, another baby girl was rescued in the state after it was discovered she had been buried alive.

The state has one of the lowest sex rations in India – 862 women to 1,000 men in rural areas – according to 2017 government census figures.

This can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, lower income households can be crippled financially by the significant dowry they must pay when their daughter marries.

Secondly, on marriage their daughters typically move in with their in-laws and so sons are often preferred as providing a guaranteed source of income.

The plunging cost of sex-selective abortion procedures means even impoverished households can increasingly choose the gender of their offspring.

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