A woman whose half eaten and decaying newborn baby was found dumped by railway tracks claims the boy died of natural causes and that she abandoned his body to save on funeral expenses.
Parveen Sheikh, 23, had gone to hospital in the Kolsewadi area of the city of Kalyan in western India’s Maharashtra state to give birth.
But the bar dancer and occasional escort, already a mum to children aged one and three, returned home with no baby.
When her neighbours in the slum where she lives asked what had happened, Parveen told them her baby was still at the hospital.
Neighbour Kanta Ghavre even said Parveen had agreed to let her care for the child, as she was so busy with work and her existing children.
She said: "She lives alone and there was no one who came to help for her earlier children either. So, this time, we decided to take care of the newborn."
But after a few days when Parveen went back to work, neighbours became suspicious about what had happened to the baby and called police.
Officers questioned Parveen and she confessed that she had abandoned the baby boy’s body beside railway tracks.
Officers found the body in a state of decay and having been partially eaten by animals, reports said.
Inspector Kalyanji Ghete told local media: "The body was badly disfigured as animals and birds of prey had eaten parts of it. It looked at least a day old.
"After investigation, the woman told us that she had given birth to a baby boy who was alive. However, later he died, according to her.
"Since she didn't have money to organise a proper burial, she left him near the railway track.
"We are waiting for the post-mortem report to understand the cause of death."
A neighbour said: "What sort of a mother can do something like this? She should be killed."
Parveen has been taken into police custody, keeping her two children with her, pending investigations.