• The accused, Kanu Chogule, had visited the child's home Thursday
  • The child's allegedly refused to give Chogule any money 
  • Chogule's friend Sonu Kale was also arrested in connection to the crime

A 30-year-old transgender woman in India was jailed for allegedly burying a 3-month-old baby alive after the child's parents refused to pay the customary gift money following her birth.

The police said the accused, identified as Kanu Chogule, abducted the child, who was sleeping with its parents, and buried her in a marshy area near the sea. The incident happened in the city of Mumbai on Friday night, reported The Times of India.

The practice of paying money and giving clothes to members of the transgender community for their "blessings" following the birth of a child is prevalent in some parts of the country.

Chogule had approached the child's father Sachin Chitkote on Thursday seeking money. However, Chitkote refused to give any money as he was under severe financial constraint following the lockdown due to the pandemic. An argument broke out between them, following which Chogule reportedly verbally abused Chitkote and left the house after "cursing" the baby.

However, on Friday, around 3 a.m., the family noticed the main door was open and the infant missing. The child, named Arya, was sleeping with her sibling and parents when she vanished. The family immediately alerted the police.

A primary investigation revealed the accused had visited the home.

"We asked them what 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 learned about the burial of the baby," a senior police official told The Free Press Journal.

Officers traced Chogule, who confessed to the crime, and led the police to the marshy patch near the sea, where the infant was buried alive. The police recovered the body, which has been sent for an autopsy.

Chogule reportedly told the police the former had told a friend named Sonu Kale about the incident. An enraged Kale told Chogule the family "needs to be taught a lesson." The duo then planned the murder together, the police said.

Both the accused have been charged with murder and destruction of evidence.

In India, where the transgender community is still ostracized, many turn to begging and dancing to earn a living. They often eke out a living by visiting households with newborn babies in the hopes of getting money or clothes. Recently, a group of transgender individuals was arrested in the city of Hyderabad after they threatened a family for not paying them.

Representational image. Pixabay