HYDERABAD — Police in India recently rescued a newborn baby girl that was about to be buried alive by two men, and footage of the incident was captured on camera. Girls are often abandoned or killed in the nation as some fathers view the child as being a financial burden due to marriage dowry.
According to reports, a taxi driver alerted the police to suspicious activity not far from a bus stop in Secunderabad as he saw one man holding a bag and the other digging a hole. When authorities arrived, they found the child’s grandfather holding an infant in a blanket and another relative using his hands to dig in the soil.
While the men admitted that they were burying the baby, they allegedly claimed that the child had died while at the hospital. The grandfather began crying as he talked to the police.
However, the newborn girl began to move inside the blanket, and the men were soon taken into custody. They were released the following day.
The infant was transported to nearby Gandhi Hospital. Her current condition is not known, but an investigation into the situation is underway.
Video of the incident was captured on a cell phone camera and uploaded to social media. View a news report on the case above.
“They thought the baby had died and were told by other family members not to bring the body home,” officer A. Srinivasulu told the AFP, based on the men’s claims. “We are just happy that the baby was rescued.”
While it is not yet known whether or not the matter was a willful case of infanticide, as previously reported, according to a report from Thought Co., an estimated 2 million baby girls combined are either aborted, killed upon birth or abandoned in China and India each year. The reason?
In India, “[a]ccording to Hindu tradition, women are lower incarnations than men of the same caste. A woman cannot obtain release (moksha) from the cycle of death and rebirth. On a more practical day-to-day level, women traditionally could not inherit property or carry on the family name,” the outlet reports.
“Sons were expected to take care of their elderly parents in return for inheriting the family farm or shop. Daughters drained the family of resources because they had to have an expensive dowry to get married; a son, of course, would bring dowry wealth into the family,” it explains.
“As a result of these beliefs, parents had a strong preference for sons. A baby girl was seen as a ‘robber,’ who would cost the family money to raise, and who then would take her dowry and go to a new family when she got married.”
According to the site “Unwanted: The Ongoing War Against Daughters in India,” second-born daughters are more commonly killed or abandoned as families can only afford one dowry.
“The number of missing girls has increased between [the] 2001 and 2011 census, becoming a substantial problem in northwestern India,” the outlet states.
It estimates that “[e]very 50 seconds a parent in India kills their daughter.”