An Indian woman who gave birth prematurely to twins has been arrested in Mumbai for allegedly throwing one of her children from a hospital window, police and hospital officials said.

The woman dropped the baby girl from a ground floor bathroom window of the KEM Hospital in central Mumbai early on Tuesday morning. The infant was found but had suffered head injuries and later died.

The girl’s mother initially claimed that her daughter had been stolen but security camera footage showed her going into the toilet with the baby and emerging without her.

Police detained the woman on suspicion of abandoning a child. Inspector Vikram Patil was quoted as saying by the Indian Express newspaper on Wednesday that she may be charged with a more serious offence, such as murder.

KEM Hospital dean Sanjay Oak was not immediately available for comment when contacted by AFP but he was quoted as telling the Press Trust of India news agency: “We don’t know what made the lady take such a drastic step.”

Indian media reported that the twins – a boy and a girl – Mwere born prematurely at seven and a half months and were underweight before their transfer to the state-run hospital earlier this month.

Human rights groups have long expressed concern about sex-selective abortion – terminating a pregnancy on the basis of a child’s gender – and infanticide of baby girls in India, particularly in rural areas.

A preference for boys has emerged in part due to the key role that sons play in Hindu funeral ceremonies.

Other factors include substantial dowry gifts that a father provides for his daughter’s new family at her wedding, and the fact that sons are often seen as breadwinners and daughters as financial burdens.

But the woman’s husband told PTI: “We were happy with the twins. We did not have any problem with the baby girl.”

(news source