New Delhi (Sputnik): The baby boy and his mother were sleeping in the courtyard when a monkey dropped from a nearby tree and snatched the baby from the sleeping mother and disappeared into the woods, according to local news reports.
The incident occurred on Saturday and since then police and forest department officials were involved in a search operation to trace the infant.
The mother of the child said that as she saw the monkey fleeing with the baby, she raised an alarm. Family members then approached the police and fire department seeking help to trace the boy. Police said a post-mortem report was awaited to ascertain the cause of death, but prima-facie it looked like the mother's claims were true.
"The newborn was a premature baby and it might have slipped from the monkey's clutches and died after falling into the well. A case of unnatural death has been lodged," Investigating Officer Priyabrat Rout was quoted as saying by Odisha TV.
The incident has once again highlighted the man-monkey conflict in the Indian suburbs. Enraged villagers have demanded compensation for the family claiming that it was the government's responsibility to do away with the monkey menace, but the problem remains unaddressed despite recurring incidents of monkeys attacking humans.
Monkey 🐒 menace is for real 😳 in Puri. Hopefully politicians & administration would pay some attention @Naveen_Odisha to this problem @sambitswaraj. They uproot plants, threaten people. One man died sometime back at Matiapada while trying to escape the chase.— Green (@OohLaaLLaa) 2 апреля 2018 г.
Man-monkey conflict worsens in Odisha. Wild monkey lifts 16-day-old baby who was sleeping in his house in Banki area of Cuttack in the morning. Both monkey and baby remain untraced till evening despite best efforts of villagers and forest staff to trace the newborn. @the_hindu— Prafulla Das (@YugaYatri) 31 марта 2018 г.
In India, monkeys are considered to be descendants of the Lord Hanuman and are revered by most Hindus.