A young boy in India is said to have been the victim of an ‘occult murder’.
Officers found the body of 10-year-old Vivek Verma in a field outside the town of Bahraich in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.
The child’s throat had been cut.
At a press conference on Monday, Superintendent Prashant Verma said police had detained three people – the victim’s cousin, Anoop, and his uncle, Chintaram, as well as a practitioner of black magic – in connection with the murder.
Investigators believe that Anoop, who has a chronically ill two-and-a-half-year-old son, sought advice from the local occultist when his child’s medical treatment failed.
The occultist then suggested that Anoop and Chintaram sacrifice another young boy to improve the sick child’s health.
The police accuse Chintaram of using a shovel to kill Vivek.
Occult murders are an uncommon yet very real occurrence in India.
Between 2014 and 2021, the country’s National Crime Records Bureau recorded more than 100 ritual sacrifices, peaking at 24 cases in 2015.
Last October, police fell in the southern state of Kerala arrested Ayurvedic ‘healer’ Bhagaval Singhhis wife Laila, and ‘occultist’ Mohammed Shafi for the murder of two women.
Officials say the victims, whose remains were discovered together but were murdered months apart, were tortured prior to their deaths as part of a ritual ceremony purportedly designed to bring financial prosperity to the alleged perpetrators.
Last August, a woman from a village in rural Uttar Pradesh allegedly killed her 18-month-old nephewreportedly believing his death would prevent her own child from dying shortly after birth.
Police are said to have discovered the victim’s body parts scattered across a sugar cane field about two days after he went missing.
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