Mumbai: Newborn buried alive by transgender, friend as family refused to give Rs 1,100, saree as ‘gift’ to mark infant’s birth

In a shocking incident, a 3-month-old girl was buried alive by a transgender and his friend in Cuffe Parade in the early hours of Friday. On the night before, the transgender, identified as Kannu, 30, had been denied gifts in cash and kind by the family of the baby and an argument had ensued, with Kannu reportedly ‘cursing’ them, said police.

Around 8.30pm on Thursday, Kanhaiya Chaugule alias Kannu had gone to Sachin Chitkote’s house in Vitthalvadi, Ambedkar Nagar, on learning about the birth of the baby, Aarya. Kannu lived in the neighbourhood and went to the Chitkotes’ house and demanded Rs 1,100 as a gift, along with a saree and coconut. However, the family refused and an argument broke out. Kannu walked away, uttering curses, police said. The family is currently going through a tough time as both Sachin and his wife have lost their jobs in the pandemic, a police officer said.

Around 3am on Friday, the Cuffe Parade police received a complaint that Baby Aarya had gone missing. She was asleep beside her parents, six-year-old brother and grandparents in their house, with the door left open. In the middle of the night, the parents suddenly noticed she was gone, Sachin told police.

Police asked them if they suspected anyone or whether they had enmity with anyone in the area. But the family denied such was the case. The child could have been kidnapped for begging or since Friday was ‘Amavasya’ (new moon), the possibility of human sacrifice could not be ruled out, said another police officer.

“We asked them what had happened on Thursday. It was then that they told us about the incident with the transgender. We immediately picked the transgender up for questioning and learnt about the burial of the baby,” said Rajkumar Dongre, senior inspector, Cuffe Parade police station.

Kannu said after the argument with the baby’s family, she met a friend Sonu Kale, 22, who asked why Kannu was in a disturbed state. Kannu narrated what had happened at the Chitkotes’ and the two then decided to teach the family a lesson, police said.

Around 2am, both went to the Chitkotes’ house. Sonu snatched the baby as the rest of the family slept, took her to the shallow waters in the sea nearby and buried her alive in mud. The police team exhumed the body by noon after Kannu showed them the spot and also arrested Sonu.

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