(Warning: Story contains graphic details, reader discretion advised)
A six-year-old girl, who had gone missing on the night of Diwali from the Ghatampur area of Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur district and was found dead in a forest on Sunday, was gang-raped, killed and her lungs were then taken out by the killers, PTI reported, quoting police officials.
The lungs were removed to perform black magic, believing that it will help a woman give birth to a child, they said.
The girl’s post-mortem report showed that shock and haemorrhage due to injuries caused her death.
The killers — Ankul Kuril (20) and Beeran (31) — who have now been arrested, had removed her lungs and delivered those to key conspirator Parshuram Kuril to perform black magic, the report quoted ASP (Rural) Brajesh Srivastava having said.
Parshuram was arrested on Monday and his wife was also detained due to the apprehension that she knew about the incident but did not talk about it to anyone.
Parshuram initially tried to mislead the police, but facing intensive interrogation, broke down and confessed to his crime, the ASP said.
Parshuram told the police that he got married in 1999 but had not had a child so far, he said.
He persuaded his nephew, Ankul, and his friend Beeran, to kidnap the girl and remove her lungs, the ASP said.
Ankul and Beeran, who were heavily drunk, abducted the girl while she had gone out of her home in Bhadras village on Saturday night to buy firecrackers while her family was preparing for Diwali prayers, he added.
They took her to a nearby jungle, where they raped the girl before killing her.
The two men were paid Rs 1,500 to obtain the girl’s liver. They confessed to sexually assaulting and strangling the child and cutting her stomach open, the ASP said.
They had abducted the girl on the pretext of giving her a packet of potato chips, he added.
Kanpur’s Deputy Inspector of General of Police Preetinder Singh had said forensic experts and sniffer dogs were pressed into service to gather scientific evidence to confirm if the girl was killed in an act of black magic.
The family looked for her in the nearby areas, including the jungle, using flashlights, but failed to locate her during the night, Singh had said, adding that her body was found by some villagers passing through the jungle on Sunday morning, the DIG said.
The girl’s belongings, including her slippers and clothes, were found near a tree.
The accused have been charged under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.