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03-14-2010, 11:22 AM
India: 12-yr-old kills 4-year-old to 'please' deity

By Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui
LUCKNOW, (Times of India): Offering human sacrifice to propitiate the gods may not be a novelty in Uttar Pradesh. But the one reported from Bulandshahr on Thursday night is something completely unimaginable. A 12-year-old girl murdered a four-year-old boy purportedly to please a deity. And if this is not enough, here's the shocker. Parents of the accused are already languishing in jail for killing a four-year-old local girl on January 25 as part of some ghastly ritual.

Moreover, in the first week of January, the family had also allegedly poisoned their three-year-old relative to `please' a deity. However, since the victim's father came to know about the nefarious designs of his younger brother and his family in time, the child was rushed to hospital and somehow survived the ordeal. And all this as the family believed that if they offered three human sacrifices, not only all their problems would disappear but they would surely bump into a hidden treasure in their farm.

The three episodes may appear as abstracts from a scary novel, but ask the residents of Chandaniya village under Narsaina police station on the outskirts of Bulandshahr, and they will swear by each and every word of the script.

The Thursday night sequence of events took off at around 8 pm when Charan Singh found his son Sachin (4) missing from the house. A manhunt was launch but to no avail till Sachin's sister Bubbli suddenly recollected to having last seen him with Smita (12) (name changed), daughter of Prahlad, brother of the missing boy's father Charan Singh.

However, locals failed to find any trace of the missing boy in Smita's house. but instead found her two younger brothers Rajesh (10) and Amit (8). The search was about to be called off when a local, for the sake of curiosity, peeped into a kiosk kept outside Smita's house and instantly raised an alarm.

When the mob opened the kiosk, they found the body of Sachin half stuffed into a gunny bag.

When the locals asked Smita about it, she initially refused to answer the queries. But after her younger brothers spilled the beans, Smita too confessed to having strangled Sachin.

The motive, villagers quoting Smita maintain, was to please some deity to help her solve the problems that have gripped her family for years. Another search of her house led the mob to a corner where a heap of utensils were kept. As the locals removed the utensils, the picture of the crime got clearer. The mob found small bundles of "samagri' (material) used for Puja and havan rituals kept in the corner along with some chilies and lemons and other such material which is usually used in witchcraft.

As word about Sachin being sacrificed by Smita spread, villagers began to assemble at the site in droves.

Around mid-night, the tempers shot up to the extent that the villagers ransacked Smita's house and brutally thrashed the girl. "We reached the site just in time. Had we been late by even a single minute, the girl might have been torched alive in the house along with her minor brothers,'' said additional superintendent of police (ASP) (Rural) Jitendra Pratap Sahi. The injured girl was later admitted to a hospital in an unconscious state and her condition was stated to be critical till late on Friday evening.

Local villagers told TOI in the presence of police that Smita's father Prahlad and his wife Pushpa are already in jail following their arrest on January 25 last for murdering Gudia, daughter of one Rajkumari of the same village. "They had strangled the girl a part of human sacrifice and confessed to their crime publicly,'' said Virendra, a local social activist.

Prahlad's neighbours revealed that the 45-year-old was deep into witchcraft and tantra -- Vidya and his house was often visited by strangely clad tantriks, sometimes in groups. Quoting Prahlad's earlier conversation with one of them, they said that the father of three was told by some guruji that if he offers three human sacrifices -- those of five-year-olds (girl or boy) -- he will be rid of all problems and even find treasure hidden in his farm.

The police also confirmed that there were reports of how Prahlad used to torch thatched roof of a hut after every Diwali as a part of tantra-mantra (which craft). "Villagers say that there are reports that he had earlier sacrificed an animal. We are probing into all these details,'' the ASP said. About the details related to the murder as revealed by Smita, police were waiting for her to gain consciousness. Till late on Friday evening, tension was mounting in Chandaniya village as police apprehended arson by irate villagers.