NEW DELHI (AFP) – A two-year-old boy was battered to death in a cowshed in New Delhi by a woman who had been told by a Hindu mystic that if she sacrificed a child her abusive husband would reform, a report said.
The daily Times of India Friday said the woman, named only as Santosh, had taken the boy to the shed where she battered his head with a spade before strangling him. His body was found in a pool of blood in the cowshed in Nangloi, west Delhi, on Saturday night.
The boy, Rahul, had been visiting his uncle in Nangloi when he disappeared. He had been on his way to the local shops with his sister Uma to buy sweets, police officer Satish Golcha said.
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“Finally his uncle found the boy’s body in a cowshed behind his neighbour’s house. There were injury marks to the head and his body was lying in a pool of blood,” Golcha said.
The officer said Santosh, who was visiting her brother in Nangloi, had confessed to the murder.
She told police she was married to an autorickshaw driver named Vinod who got drunk and beat her up every day. In desperation she said she had gone to a tantrik who had told her that her husband would reform if she killed a child.
Santosh’s nephew, who allegedly helped in the murder and hid the blood-stained spade, is being questioned by police, who are also searching for the tantrik.
A child sacrifice case was also reported to police in the eastern tribal state of Jharkand, where an eight-year-old boy was apparently killed by a group of men to appease Hindu gods.
Police said Thursday that at least one person had died in protest over the killing in Burkunda district.
Local police had on Wednesday arrested four people including a Hindu priest on charges of murdering the boy, named Munna, who had been missing since December 5.
The following day a mob torched the priest’s house and tried to burn down the police station where the accused were being held.
The arrested men have confessed to sacrificing the boy in a ritual to appease Hindu gods, police said.
Human sacrifices are not uncommon in the deeply poor tribal state.