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Children walk to school in NepalReuters

The badly decomposed body of Jivan Kohar found with his throat slit in Nawalparasi district in southern Nepal.

The child had been missing for three days, said Nal Prasad Upadhyaya, a police official. His body was found in bushes in Kudiya, a village in the Nawalparasi district, which borders India. His throat had been slit.

The Kathmandu Post reported that Kodai Harijan, the father of the man who was ill had confessed to the killing to "chase away the evil spirits" from his sick son. He had sought advice from a village shaman.

"I offered the boy the biscuit and promised to give him Rs50 later. I took him to Shiwan and called the shaman, Suryabhan and neighbour Rudal to assist me. The shaman performed a pooja [Hindu prayer ritual]. Rudal snatched the head and arms, Suryabhan grabbed the legs and I slit his throat with a sickle," Kodai told the Post.

The 35-year-old told police that his son Bijay was suffering health problems and had to be "pacified with human flesh."

The son added: the "spell of a ghost that was driving him," according to The Himalayan.

The victim was alone in his house as family members had gone to tend their field.

Nine men have been arrested and will be charged with murder.

More than 80% of Nepal's 28m citizens are Hindus, according to the CIA Factbook, and many frequently sacrifice animals such as roosters, buffaloes and goats to appease the gods.

The practice of animal sacrifice is not a required ritual in Hindu and the majority of practicing Hindus choose not to participate in or acknowledge the practice. However, followers of the Sakta sect of Hinduism hold this to be a central tenet of their belief.