Two men have been arrested in central India for allegedly killing a 7-year-old girl and cutting out her liver in a ritual sacrifice to ensure a better harvest, police said Monday.
Lalita Tati disappeared in October and her dismembered remains were found a week later, Rajendra Narayan Das, a senior police officer in the Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh state, told The Associated Press. Police arrested two men, both poor farmers, last week and they told police they killed the girl to appease their gods and get a better harvest, Das said.
Tati was walking home after watching television at a neighbor’s house when she was kidnapped, Das said. The two men confessed to cutting her open and removing her liver as an offering.
Das said the police had gathered enough evidence, apart from the confessions, to charge the two with murder. They would face life in prison or even the death sentence if convicted.
The men were described as “tribals,” a term referring to the region’s indigenous people, most of whom remain mired in poverty and illiteracy. Human sacrifices are rare in India but get prominent attention every few years. A deep belief in traditional healers, or witch doctors, is common in mostly tribal Chhattisgarh.