A seven-year-old Indian girl who was allegedly buried alive by relatives in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh has been rescued by a villager.
Police say relatives first tried to strangle her and then left her to die in a shallow grave. It is unclear why.
The man who found her in Sitapur district alerted police – she was taken to a hospital and is said to be doing well.
Police are looking for her mother, uncle and aunt who they say have fled.
The villager who rescued her followed the sound of muffled cries to the middle of a cane field where he found the soil moving.
Police allege the girl’s uncle and aunt had promised to take her to a fair, but then strangled and buried her near the village of Semri Gaura where she lives.
“When the girl became conscious, she began to remove the soil on top of her and clambered out of the shallow grave. Then she sat there and cried loudly when the villager spotted her,” Sitapur police chief Rajesh Krishna told BBC Hindi.
“There are strangulation marks around the girl’s neck.”
Reports say the girl lived with her mother. Her father apparently had no idea about the attack and has told police he is estranged from his wife and lives separately.
Police say they have yet to establish a motive for the attack. But cases of baby girls being killed are not uncommon in India, where women are often discriminated against socially and girls are seen as a financial burden, particularly among poor communities.
In 2012, the father and uncle of a baby girl in Uttar Pradesh allegedly tried to bury her alive, apparently as a sacrifice to protect the health of their other children on the advice of a spiritual guru.