Hoping to get a healthier child the next time, a couple killed and buried their six-year-old daughter after starving her for five days in the Indian city Moradabad. In this image, unmarked graves are seen at the "Traitors' Cemetery", set up specifically to bury the bodies of coup plotters who died in the failed military coup of July 15, in Istanbul, Turkey, July 29, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Hoping to get a healthier child next time, a couple killed and buried their six-year-old malnourished daughter after starving her for five days in the Indian city Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh on June 3.

According to reports, a self-claimed "spiritual leader" advised the couple to commit the crime and bury the girl's body inside their home to get a healthier child.

The incident came to light on Saturday after a neighbor informed police about his suspicion that a crime was committed. The police arrived and found the body of Tara, the child, after digging up the floor of the house. Police said the child had developed rickets and was suffering from malnutrition.

Postmortem reports revealed the girl starved without food or water for almost five days and died of suffocation. Ravindra Gaur, a police officer in Moradabad, said the autopsy revealed Tara was strangulated to death.

He also said the police are investigating allegations of spiritual rituals inside the house.

"Her mother did not want to part with her, so she buried the child in the house and planned to set up a little shrine at the spot," the girl’s grandmother said. "We tried several medicines, but nothing worked on her and she kept getting weaker. My grandson has also developed rickets.”

An FIR was lodged against Anand Pal, the father, and his five-month pregnant wife Meena on Sunday night. They are expected to be arrested soon.

In another incident in June, a couple tried to bury a two-month-old baby girl alive in the Indian city of Belagavi, Karnataka, after presuming she was dead. The parents reached a burial ground accompanied by three relatives holding the baby wrapped in a white cloth.

They brought coconut, flowers, incense sticks and all the other items required for the burial prayer and started digging a small pit. When they almost completed digging, the watchman of the ground noticed the child’s leg move slightly.

He rushed to the couple and asked them to take the baby to the hospital as it was alive. The couple argued and said the child had died of brain hemorrhage and that the doctors had confirmed it. However, the parents were asked to leave.

“They were not ready to leave and began forcing us to bury the girl. They left only after I shouted at them,” said Vijay Sawant, another person on duty at the burial ground. “Some astrologer must have told them to sacrifice the baby for some material gain. It may also be because it was a girl child and the parents wanted a boy.”

The child’s father took the baby to a nearby hospital where she was treated for two days, however, she died later and was buried in the same place. Police Commissioner D.C. Rajappa said the couple was traced with the help of CCTV footage.