While delivering a baby in a hospital in Rajasthan, western India, a male nurse pulled the baby from the mother’s womb so hard that it ended up decapitating the infant.

The incident took place on Jan. 6, at an unnamed local community health center in Ramgarh, Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district, where the husband of the victim, who is a farmer, had taken his wife, Dikhsha Kanwar, for delivery of the baby. “The doctor wasn’t present there, and the compounder called another person to help him during the delivery. A little while later, when my wife was in severe pain, they said there were complications and the child won’t survive,” the husband said, local newspaper Indian Express reported. 

When the nurse and a colleague tried to forcefully take out the child, the baby’s head separated from its body and only the torso could be pulled out from the womb. Instead of reporting the incident to their superiors, the two hid what had transpired during the delivery process, depositing the lower part of the fetus in the hospital’s mortuary. They then, asked the woman’s family to take her back home, saying the newborn had died.

When the woman went to Jawahar Hospital for further treatment, Dr. Ravindra Sankhla, a gynecologist in the facility, contacted the staff in the health center and learned that while delivering the child, the nurses had left the placenta in the woman’s womb. When he attempted to remove the placenta, Sankhla said that he realized that something had gone “horribly wrong” during the victim’s delivery, local newspaper Hindustan Times reported. 

He then “referred her to Ummed Hospital in Jodhpur,” where doctors found the fetus’s head still inside Kanwar’s womb and informed the family members of the victim.

“Doctors at the government hospital in Jodhpur found that the body of the baby was split into two and only the head remained, while the other half was already taken out. We were shocked to know this. This is murder. Even when they knew the baby was dead owing to their negligence, they misled us,” the victim’s husband said.

Pregnant Woman A male nurse pulled the baby from the mother’s womb so hard, that it ended up decapitating the baby. In this representational picture, a pregnant woman holds her stomach in Sydney, Australia, June 7, 2006. Photo: Getty Images/ Ian Waldie

A criminal complaint was filed against the nurses who carried out the botched surgery in the Ramgarh Police Station. The victim’s family claimed that the suspects were drunk at the time of carrying out delivery operation.

“A case was registered late Tuesday night under Sections 304A and 336 of the IPC [Indian Penal Code] against two men — Jujhar Singh and Amrit Lal — who work at the local CHC [community health center]. We have recovered the other half of the body from the hospital and the post-mortem has been done. Further investigation is on,” said Jalam Singh, station house office.

He added that it was only when the police confronted the accused nurses that they handed over the baby’s torso. “When questioned, the hospital staffers handed over the lower part of the fetus to us,” he said. The police were yet to make any arrests.