A newborn has been rescued from the roadside after her parents allegedly stuffed her inside three gunny sacks and left her to die in the cold.

On Monday morning, passersby heard the baby's wails and found her inside the sacks on the side of the road in Meerut, a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. They immediately contacted the police, who arrived at the scene and took the baby to a nearby hospital for treatment.

"I was on my way to work when I spotted a crowd along the road. When I reached there, I saw people trying to rescue a newborn from abandoned sacks. I took out my jacket, comforted her and later alerted police," Rachit Kumar, who was the first person to pick the child, told the local daily The Times of India.

"Most people gathered there were making videos. The sacks were roughly handled by the person trying to take the baby out of it and as a result, her head hit the ground," he added.

The baby was being treated at the hospital and was in better condition.

"When they brought the baby she was in very bad shape, her placenta was attached to her body and there was a rotting smell. We sent her to the newborn care unit. She is in a much better condition," Dr. Manisha Agarwal told local television channel NDTV. She also explained that managing the baby's temperature was crucial at that point.

"She was thrown out in the open and this can affect her. It is very important for her to have mother's milk within an hour of delivery. This must not have been given to her. This is harmful for her. We are doing our best to treat her," the doctor added.

Police said the baby was premature but healthy, and they were trying their best to trace the person who had abandoned her.

Though the investigation into the incident was ongoing, Dr. Agarwal believed it to be a case of female infanticide.

"This is a female child, whoever is the mother, I cannot say why she threw away the baby but I do feel that if this was a male child the mother would not throw it away. The mother may have thought of the child as a burden — this mentality needs to change," she said.

Meanwhile, a case of attempted murder and child abandonment has already been filed and several people have reportedly come forward to adopt the baby.

Baby Feet
This is a representational image of a baby's feet. Pixabay