A seven year-old girl was gang-raped, hacked to death and had her organs removed for an act of black magic in India, police say.
The girl went missing from her Kanpur home on the night of Diwali and the remains of her body were found in a jungle, with her clothes under a nearby tree.
Police say the killers brought her liver and lungs to a man called Parshuram, who ate them with his wife in a ritual supposed to improve their chances of conception.
Under interrogation, Parshuram admitted to his part in the plot, while one of the alleged killers, Ankul, also offered a confession, according to Indian media.
According toÂ Outlook India, Parshuram told police he enlisted his nephew Ankul and his friend Beeran to kidnap the girl and take her lungs.
He said Ankul and Beeran were heavily drunk when they attacked the girl, who had left her home to buy firecrackers for Diwali.
The two men allegedly took the girl into a jungle where they raped her before killing her and extracting her organs for the ritual.
Parshuram told police he had got married in 1999 but had yet to produce a child and had hoped that the gruesome ritual would improve his odds.
The two alleged killers have been detained along with Parshuram and his wife Sunaina, theÂ Times of IndiaÂ says.
Police initially thought the girl was killed while trying to fight the men off, but Ankul is said to have broken down and admitted the whole plot to interrogators.
‘They hacked the girl with a knife and extracted her liver, lungs and vital organs and dumped her body in fields,’ a police statement said.
The body was found by villagers on Sunday morning after a family search with flashlights on Saturday had failed to catch sight of her.
Forensic experts and sniffer dogs were deployed to gather scientific evidence, a police inspector said.
Investigators have also recovered a knife while the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh is said to have asked for a fast-track court case.
Delays in the judicial process are a frequently cited problem in India, which has a dire reputation for sexual crimes against women and girls.
Follow Us on Instagram