DESPARDES — Indian officials have recovered a young girl’s headless body from a forest in Odisha state.
They say a man who was out on bail after being jailed for committing a human sacrifice killed his 12-year-old sister to appease a Hindu goddess of war, according to local reports.
The man, Subhoban Rana, has been arrested after he confessed to killing his sister Janani.
Reports say Rana killed his sister to gain favor with the goddess Durga just days after he was let out of prison on bail for a similar crime.
Janani had left home with her 28-year-old brother on 24 December and did not return.
Her family then filed a missing person report at the local police station, although villagers reportedly suspected the brother due to his arrest for a human sacrifice in 2018.
“After he confessed to his crime, we arrested him and took our team to a forest where we recovered the girl’s headless body,” Madkar Sandeep Sampat, the police superintendent for the Balangir district, said.
The Independent adds: Durga is a goddess of war in Hinduism who is often depicted riding a lion or tiger with many arms carrying weapons and is known for fighting demonic forces that threaten peace.
Human sacrifices are rare in India, although cases have appeared sporadically in recent years.
In 2017, police arrested three people in connection with an alleged sacrifice of a 10-year-old girl in the state of Karnataka and in 2015, a four-year-old boy was reportedly beheaded as part of a sacrifice ritual in Andhra Pradesh state to honor the Hindu goddess Kali.