In search of treasure, neighbours sacrifice 4-year-old

Representative image.

In a shocking incident, a four-year-old child was allegedly ''sacrificed'' in Uttar Pradesh's Pilibhit district, about 300 kilometres from here, by some people on the advice of an exorcist, to find some hidden treasure.

According to the police sources here, ten persons, including a woman and the exorcist, were arrested in this connection.

Police said that four-year-old Arun Kumar had gone missing last week from a field near Purainia village in the district. A complaint was lodged in this regard with the police.

Arun's body was recovered from near a pond a few metres away from the village a few days back. The police initially suspected it to be a case of death by drowning.

The postmortem report, however, revealed a dozen injury marks on the body of the child. It later turned out that the child had been ''sacrificed'' by the family, which lived in his neighbourhood.

The family members were told by an exorcist that there was a treasure hidden beneath the soil in their field but it could be found only if a child was sacrificed.

Sudhir Singh, one of the members of the family, lured the child on the pretext of giving him sweet while the latter was playing outside his home.

Singh and other members of the family allegedly ''sacrificed'' the child after a ritual at midnight. They later dumped his body near the pond to make it look like accidental death, police said.

A trident and some other material used in the ritual were recovered from the possession of the culprits, police added. 

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