An Indian woman and her newborn baby have died after they were refused medical treatment. Officials say Maya Devi was concidered an "untouchable" in her country.

The 28-year-old mother gave birth outside the materity wing at Kanpur Medical College in northern Uttar Pradesh state. Her baby boy died minutes after his birth.

Devi was put into the hospital's Intensive Care Unit after she had a heart attack but she died Thursday morning.

The Press Trust of India reports that several doctors, including the hospital's chief medical superintendent, refused to touch her or give the baby medical care.

Devi was a Dalit, or "untouchable," a group at the bottom of the caste social ladder who have long been ostracized and forced into menial professions despite laws banning discrimination.

Many high-class Hindus fear coming into contact with them.

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