A young boy in India is believed to have been the victim of an ‘occult killing.’
Officers found the body of ten-year-old Vivek Verma last Thursday in a field outside the city of Bahraich in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
The child’s throat had been cut.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Superintendent Prashant Verma said that police had detained three people – the victim’s cousin, Anoop, and his uncle, Chintaram, as well as a black magic practitioner – in connection with the slaying.
Investigators believe that Anoop, who has a chronically ill two-and-a-half year old son, sought advice from the local occultist when medical treatment for his child failed.
The occultist allegedly then suggested that Anoop and Chintaram sacrifice another young boy to improve the sick child’s health.
Police accuse Chintaram of using a shovel to murder Vivek.
Occult killings are an uncommon but nevertheless very real occurrence in India.
Between 2014 and 2021, the country’s National Crime Records Bureau recorded more than 100 ritualistic sacrifices, with a peak of 24 cases in 2015.
Last October, police in the southern state of Kerala arrested ayurvedic ‘healer’ Bhagaval Singh, his wife Laila, and ‘occultist’ Mohammed Shafi for the murders of two women.
Officials say that the victims, whose remains were discovered together but who were killed months apart, were tortured prior to their death as part of a ritualistic ceremony supposedly 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 nephew, reportedly in the belief his death would prevent her own child dying soon after birth.
Police were reported to have discovered the victim’s body parts scattered across a sugarcane field roughly two days after he went missing.
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