In a desperate attempt to save the rest of her family from starvation, a mother has sold her infant son for 6,000 rupees (HK$1,020), only to be beaten by her husband. Unable to feed themselves or their seven-year-old daughter, Dhiran Devi decided to sell her two-month-old boy, who was yet to be named. She and her husband, Lal Babu Paswan, both low-caste Hindus, had earlier watched helplessly as a third child, a two-year-old son, died of a damaged liver caused by malnutrition. According to reports yesterday, Mr Paswan, who has tuberculosis, said: 'She went away and then came back and told me she'd sold the baby. 'I beat her and the neighbours also thrashed her. Then she disappeared.' The tragic family live in Bihar, India's poorest and most backward state, which has endured a perishing drought then heavy flooding that wiped out most of this year's crops. At least five people have died of starvation in the past few weeks. While New Delhi's relief effort is widely seen as insufficient, the government of Bihar has also been accused of failing to distribute aid sitting in its warehouses. Last month, police opened fire on a mob protesting at the unfair distribution of grain, killing three people. The district magistrate has ruled that the Paswans should be granted enough food for a year and free tuberculosis treatment for the father.