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Mother chops off newborn’s extra fingers, toes with a sickle in India; Baby dies

Police said the woman used a sickle to chop off the infant’s extra fingers and toes. She later coated the injuries with cow dung. Within hours, the infant died and was buried in the village.

WT24 Desk

A woman in a tribal hamlet in Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa district allegedly chopped off the extra fingers and toes of her newborn child out of fear that the oddity would hamper the infant’s chances of getting married, police said Saturday, PTI reports.

The girl, who was born on December 22 with six fingers each on both hands and six toes each on both feet, succumbed to the injuries, police said.

After being alerted by media reports, the body of the child was exhumed on Saturday for further probe, an official said.

“The child was born on December 22 to a woman identified as Tarabai in Sundardev village. The woman used a sickle to chop off the infant’s extra fingers and toes. She later coated the injuries with cow dung. Within hours, the infant died and was buried in the village,” Dabar added.

Superintendent of Police Ruchi Vardhan Mishra said a post mortem was conducted and the medical report was awaited following which further action would be taken.

Block Medical Officer (BMO) Dr Shailendra Katariya said action had been initiated against the local medical staff overseeing formalities related to childbirth in the village.

The condition is known as polydactyly or polydactylism or hyperdactyly and is a congenital physical anomaly in humans and animals resulting in supernumerary fingers and toes.

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