Two young girls were killed allegedly by their parents inside their residence in Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor district on Sunday, January 24, in a horrifying crime that the police suspect was linked to supernatural practices.
After the shocking incident, the girls' parents told the police that they could bring both back to life in one day.
Alekhya (27) and Sai Divya (23) were found in red saris, lying in blood with their heads smashed with a dumbbell.
The family appeared to have participated in a ritual before the murders on Sunday evening, the police said.
The parents believed their girls were possessed by some evil spirit. Neighbours of the family claimed the girls were made to circle the house as part of the rituals, NDTV reported.
"The scene of crime suggests some rituals were carried out; the women were clad in a red saree and the parents appeared to be highly delusional," police officer Ravi Manohara Chary said.
"There were only four people in the house, the husband, wife and their two daughters. There are CCTV cameras here, so we will analyse it. From what they are saying, they went away spiritually into another zone, they told us, give one day's time, we will bring them back to life.''
The girls' parents identified as Valleru Purushottam Naidu and Padmaja have been arrested.
"Naidu is a professor of chemistry and vice-principal at the Government Girls' Degree College in Madanapalle, while Padmaja identifies herself as a gold medalist, postgraduate in mathematics, who was working at an IIT coaching institute," Chary said.
Alekhya used to work at Bhopal's Indian Institute of Forest Management and had resigned recently to prepare for civil services exam. Her sister Sai Divya was a graduate and was pursuing music at a Chennai-based AR Rahman institute.
The sisters had returned home during the lockdown and no one had been allowed inside the house for months, the police said. Four days before the murder, maids were also not allowed inside the house, the police added.
The police said they were analysing the CCTV camera footages to track the movement of people in and out of the residence.