While Burying His Newborn, He Found Another Buried Alive

Police searching for parents of Indian girl, now in hospital

A man in India was digging a grave for his newborn daughter last week when the impossible happened: He discovered another newborn, who had been buried alive and was still breathing, reports the Guardian. Hitesh Sirohi and his wife were at a remote cemetery in Uttar Pradesh burying their child when Sirohi’s shovel struck an earthen pot about 2 feet underground and they heard cries.

“I thought that my daughter had come alive,” Sirohi tells the Times of India. A local police official tells CNN the infant girl, about 4 or 5 days old, probably had been buried four to six hours before Sirohi and his wife found her. “It seems to be a case of (attempted) female infanticide,” a police official tells Al Jazeera.

The girl, who weighed 3.3 pounds upon discovery, is in intensive care at a nearby hospital, where she requires a ventilator due to a lung infection. A local politician is reportedly covering medical expenses. Meanwhile, police are checking CCTV footage from the cemetery for evidence of the parents, who could face charges of attempted murder and abandoning a child, Singh says.

Female infanticide is widespread in India, where baby boys are favored and the number of females per 1,000 males has been falling steadily since 2011, per the Guardian. A 3-week-old baby girl was also found buried alive in Rajasthan state in January, though she later died.