In a horrific sequence of events, a five-year-old boy was abducted and beheaded in a gruesome ‘human sacrifice’ ritual in a rural village in southern India.
Local media reports that a 35-year-old man abducted the little boy – named as Manu Sagar – as he was returning home from nursery.
According to the Times of India, the man has been named as Tirumala Rao, and it’s alleged he executed the child in a witchcraft-like ritual to honour the Hindu Goddess Kali as a way of seeking “divine powers”.
Rao was found next to the child’s body by the boy’s mother, with police adding they believe he strangled the boy with a rope found at the scene before he chopped his head off.
Upon discovering Rao, enraged villagers tried to take matters into their own hands and attempted to lynch him, despite the man’s claims that he could bring the boy back to life by performing special rites.
The locals reportedly tied the man to a pole and doused him in kerosene, before setting him on fire, according to a report in the Indian Express.
However, village elders rescued Rao and contacted the police. He was taken to the hospital with 40 per cent burns to his body.
Speaking to the Hindu newspaper, local police chief Ch SriKanth said:
This is a first-of-its-kind incident in Prakasam district. Once he recovers, he will be subjected to questioning after an examination of his mental condition by a psychiatrist.
Rao is rumoured to have a history of links to people who perform tantric rituals of this type – he allegedly tried to abduct a young girl on a previous occasion and tried to attack his brother with a sickle.