India baby death: Dog attack or stillbirth, police probe

Baby feet Image copyright Ankit Srinivas

Police in India are investigating allegations that a newborn baby died after being mauled by a stray dog at a hospital.

The parents alleged that their baby was alive and in an operating theatre when the dog attacked.

The hospital, however, insists the infant was stillborn.

Officials told the BBC that they had shut down the hospital, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, as it was running without a licence.

Police say they are awaiting results of the post-mortem examination to determine the cause of death.

"Early evidence suggests that the baby was mauled by a dog. We are investigating how a dog entered the hospital," district magistrate Manvendra Singh told the BBC.

"The hospital says the baby was stillborn and didn't die because of the attack. But parents say the hospital is lying. We are investigating the case thoroughly," he added.

The father told the Times of India newspaper that the baby was inside the operating theatre when a member of the hospital staff came running out of the room, saying a dog had entered.

Image copyright Deepak Kumar Srivastava
Image caption Officials have shut down the hospital

"The baby had dog bite marks on his chest and left eye. He was lying still," the father, Ravi Kumar, said.

He also accused the staff of trying to bribe him to stay quiet when he confronted them.

Uttar Pradesh has been in the news in recent years for deadly attacks by stray dogs. A three-month-old and a seven-year-old were mauled to death by dogs in two separate incidents last year in the state.

In 2018, villagers of Sitapur district said dogs had killed 12 children in a series of attacks.

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