A 5-year-old girl was killed in a suspected case of human sacrifice in a tea garden area in upper Assam’s Charaideo district.
Police have arrested Anta Munda(54), the father of the deceased girl.
The accused, who is a worker of Safrai tea estate, was detained by the police along with eight others on Tuesday evening after the body of the child was recovered from Singlo river near the tea garden.
On Wednesday, Munda was arrested by the police along with Bogadhar Munda, a local tantric after they confessed to killing the child.
The child, who was the youngest among Anta Munda’s six daughters, remained missing from her home since August 8.
Munda confessed that he and Bogadhar Munda, a preacher of Goddess Kali, strangulated the child in a graveyard on Amavasya night (No moon day) on August 8 as they deemed the child as a ‘bad omen’ for the family as her mother died soon after giving birth to her four years ago.
Moreover, any ailment in the family was attributed to the ‘ill effect’ of the child.
The duo after strangulating the helpless child threw the body into the river.
On Tuesday evening, the body of the girl was discovered by a local youth. Puja materials used in the ritual were also recovered near the body of the minor.
Charaideo SP Sudhakar Singh said, “We have arrested the father of the deceased girl and another person for the killing. We have sought their remand from the court for further investigation. Unfortunately, the girl was a victim of superstition.”
“Due to illiteracy, many people in the rural areas still believe in superstition and black magic. They come under the influence of quacks and tantric and do horrific things,” the SP said.
Sources said superstition and black magic have been prevalent in the Adivasi areas. Most of the people are illiterate and they easily believe in such practices.
“Earlier, cases of human sacrifice were reported in Assam. Mostly from tea belt areas, such cases are reported. The people easily fall under the influence of some quacks and sacrifice their near and dear ones. Due to superstitious beliefs and illiteracy in tea garden areas, such cases occurred,” said a police official.
In 2016, a 4-year-old girl went missing from her house in Charaideo district of upper Assam and later, her body was found near Ratanpur tea estate.