In a horrific incident, a six-year-old girl was found dead in a forested area in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur on Sunday, November 15. The girl was gang-raped, killed and her lungs were removed by the killers, the police said on Monday, November 16.
"They had removed her lungs and delivered those to key conspirator Parshuram Kuril to perform black magic," ASP (Rural) Brajesh Srivastava said. "Some other body parts could also have been extracted," he added.
The killers, identified as Ankul Kuril (20) and Beeran (31) were arrested on Sunday. Parshuram was arrested on Monday and his wife was also detained on apprehensions that she knew about the incident but did not tell anyone, the cop said.
"Parshuram initially tried to mislead the police, but facing intensive interrogation, broke down and confessed to his crime," the ASP said. He told the police that he got married in 1999 but had not had a child so far.
He convinced his nephew, Ankul, and his friend Beeran, to abduct the girl and remove her lungs, the police said. The couple paid ₹ 1,000 to the two men who are neighbours of the child to perform the ritual so that the couple could have children.
Ankul and Beeran, who were drunk, kidnapped the girl when she had gone out of her residence in Bhadras village on Saturday night to get firecrackers. They took her to a nearby jungle, where they raped her before killing her.
The accused have been charged under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Kanpur's Deputy Inspector of General of Police Preetinder Singh said that forensic experts and sniffer dogs were deployed to collect scientific evidence to confirm the crime.
After the girl went missing on Saturday night, the family started looking for her but to no avail. The police said that her body was found by some villagers passing through the jungle on Sunday morning. The girl's belongings, including her slippers and clothes, were found near a tree.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed officials to take stringent action against the accused. He has also ordered the officials to provide a compensation amount of ₹5 lakh to the girl's family.
The chief minister has said the case would be heard in a fast-track court so that the accused are punished at the earliest.