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 on Saturday, 29 December.
The girl, who was born on 22 December 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 22 December 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.
"She feared that the child would not be able to get married in future because of these extra fingers and toes," said Dabar, adding that superstitions about it could also have led the woman to commit the act.
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.
Police said that the woman had not been arrested as yet.
The condition is known as polydactyly or hyperdactyly and is a congenital physical anomaly in humans and animals resulting in supernumerary fingers and toes.
(Published in arrangement with PTI)