//Eight-year-old sacrificed in UP village

Eight-year-old sacrificed in UP village

UNREPENTANT: One of the accused in the Khurja child sacrifice

Khurja (Uttar Pradesh): It’s a gory tale of child sacrifice being practiced as a ritual in the dark alleys of rural India.

A woman and her two sons sacrificed their eight-year-old neighbour in Khurja disrict of Uttar Pradesh on a local tantrik’s advice.

The sacrifice, prescribed by a local tantrik, was meant get Sumitra and her two sons – Sanju and Satbir – rid of the nightmares they had been getting.

"It’s because of blind superstitions and rampant illiteracy in the area, that this woman sacrificed an eight-year-old boy," Additional Superintendent of Police, Khurja, A K Singh, said.

The modus operandi was simple. After the tantrik’s prescription, Sumitra and the two boys abducted Akash, killed him and chopped his nose and ears off.

Sumitra then informed the villagers that the Aakash’s body was found lying outside her house.

However, the villagers smelled a rat and beat up her two sons. After much beating and pressure, the duo confessed to the crime.

"I killed the boy so that my mother could be safe," one of the accused, Sanju, said.

The police have registered a case against Sumitra and her two sons and there is a sense of unease and tension in the area after the gruesome incident.

Tantrism has long been associated with black magic and voodoo in India and is practiced across a broad spectrum of the rural Indian society. Operating through discreet advertisement and masked publicity, tantriks charge handsome fees for their services and claim to get the complainants rid of many physicological and emotional ailments like matrimonial problems, .

Some tantriks enjoy a near-celebrity status in India and conduct talks at plush five-star hotels and have a huge following among politicians and film stars.

Though there are no concrete statistics on sacrificial killings, the phenomenon is picking up