Patna: A man in Bihar threw a nine-month-old girl into a river after her father failed to repay a loan of Rs500 (Dh30.6), triggering protests by angry villagers. The victim’s family comes from the Dalit class (an underprivileged caste).

Police said Surendra Paswan, from the Sarangpur village, took a loan of Rs500 from Gautam Singh to do some urgent work in the family, but was unable to pay him back on time.

Late on Friday evening, Paswan, his wife Nandini and their infant daughter Shrishti Kumari were returning home on his motorbike when the moneylender stopped Paswan’s vehicle on a bridge over the Suara river and asked him for his money back.

Police said Singh was infuriated after the Paswan said he would be unable to pay the loan immediately. In a fit of anger, Singh snatched the baby from her mother’s lap and threw her into the river. The baby died instantly.

“I told him I would repay the loan next month after [the] marriage of my sister but he (the moneylender) assaulted us and then threw our child into the river from the bridge,” Paswan said. He has lodged a case with the local police who are investigating the matter.

Angry villagers later recovered the girl’s body from the river and protested on the streets seeking the arrest of the accused and adequate compensation to the victim’s family. Later, police rushed to the spot and handed over Rs20,000 to the victim’s family and said stern action would be taken against the accused.

The police swung into action soon after the case was registered. “We are conducting raids to arrest the accused,” the local district superintendent of police Ratnamani Sanjeev told the media on Sunday.