A monkey threw a four-month-old baby to its death from a roof as his devastated parents watched on, it has been alleged.

The baby was snatched from his parents by a raging troop of monkeys, before he was flung off a roof in India last week.

Father, Nirdesh Upadhyay, was standing on the terrace of his three-storey house with his wife and their baby son when the horrifying incident is said to have taken place.

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The trio were enjoying a lazy Friday evening up on the terrace in the rural village of Dunka, close to Bareilly in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, when the primates clambered onto the roof and surrounded them.

The new parents tried in vain to bat the primates away before running towards the stairs in an attempt to escape, but Nirdesh, who was carrying his son, stumbled and dropped the child.

Before either parent could react one of the monkeys had grabbed the baby boy by the hand and hurled him off the roof.

The distraught parents managed to quickly get to their son's aid, but the infant reportedly died at the scene.

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Authorities are now investigating the incident at the Shahi police station, and Bareilly city's conservation chief, Lalit Verma, told PTI News his team were dispatched to investigate the involvement of monkeys in the child's death.

Uttar Pradesh is home to a huge population of rhesus monkeys, which roam free throughout many of the state's towns and cities.

Although the primates are generally able to live in relative harmony alongside the humans who reside in these settlements, there are a number of documented cases of the monkeys attacking people, in particular children.

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