In yet another shocking incident, a three-year-old boy is suspected to have been killed during an occult practice in Uttar Pradesh's Agra district after his body was exhumed from under the ground.
"The incident took place in the Pinahat police station area. A lot of people had gathered at the spot after the information about the act spread. Some people had already started digging the ground where the child was buried," Agra Senior Superintendent of Police Muniraj G said.
The matter came to light late Saturday night after the police were alerted by the locals of some suspicious activity in a jungle area near the Chambal river, police said.
"The local police team also reached the spot immediately upon being alerted. The boy was taken out from the ground by the police along with locals and rushed to a CHC (community health centre) for check up," Muniraj said.
However, the doctors at the CHC declared the child "brought dead" upon inspection and the body was then sent to SN Medical College for post mortem, he said.
An FIR has been lodged at the Pinahat police station on the basis of the preliminary information and investigation has been launched in the case, the district police chief said.
"The child's identity is yet to be ascertained. Those involved in the act are also unidentified and absconding but some locals are understood to have seen them. We are trying to contact the eye-witnesses in order to trace the culprits," SSP Muniraj said.
According to local officials, presence of incense sticks and items related to occult practices near the spot raised suspicion of human sacrifice but facts could be asserted only after a complete probe.
A seven-year-old girl was hacked to death in Ghatampur area of Kanpur district in Uttar Pradesh as part of an occult practice in November 2020 in a horrific incident that had rocked the country.
The four accused, including a woman, in the case were later arrested and detained under the stringent National Security Act (NSA), according to officials.
With PTI inputs