Police in the north Indian state of Jharkhand have arrested two men for allegedly killing a six-month-old baby, who was reported missing for days.
One of the accused practises black magic, who forced the other man to kidnap the infant and offer her blood to god as a sacrifice to be blessed with a child of his own, the police said on Friday (2 June).
The two allegedly killed the baby near a cremation ground and then buried her there. She was missing since 25 May night from Choura village under Tiruldih police station in the state, which is currently dealing with several cases of child abduction, police said.
The accused, identified as Karmu Kalindi and Bhadohi Kalindi, have been arrested and remanded in judicial custody, the police added, noting that they were yet to recover the child's body, the Hindustan Times reported.
"We have solved the child-theft mystery. The accused have confessed to their crime," sub-divisional police officer Sandip Bhagat told the paper. "The dagger they had used for sacrificing the child has been recovered," he added.
According to the missing complaint reported by the infant's parents, Subhash and Parvati Gope, their daughter was abducted by some unknown miscreants while they were asleep in their house.
During summer, the family said they keep their house door open in the night for ventilation. The accused took advantage of the situation and abducted the child in the night.
Kalindi was reportedly a neighbour of the Gope family and was aware that they had an infant.
Police told the paper that the sudden disappearance of Kalindi who was known in the village for practising black magic raised suspicions. They launched a manhunt and later arrested him and the other accused from a neighbouring village.
However, the paper quoted sources as saying that Kalindi was arrested from the neighbouring state of West Bengal.
Superstitious beliefs and black magic are widely prevalent in several Indian states, including Jharkhand and West Bengal, especially in the rural belts where there is a high level of illiteracy. Many crimes are committed on the pretext of black magic.
Even the victim's parents had initially approached a so-called sorcerer to help find their missing daughter, the paper reported.