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UP: Kanpur Minor Sexually Assaulted, Liver Cut Out for Alleged 'Tantric Practice'

Three people have been arrested in connection with the crime.

New Delhi: A seven-year-old girl who was kidnapped was found dead in a forested area in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur district on Sunday.

She was killed on the night of Diwali by two men, who were allegedly paid by one of their relatives to get the child’s liver for a tantric ritual, according to a report in the Indian Express. She was also sexually assaulted before she was killed, according to the police.

The girl had gone missing from the Ghatampur area. The accused – Ankul Kuril (20) and Beeran (31) – who were arrested on Sunday, had removed her liver and delivered it to Parshuram Kuril to perform “black magic”, ASP (Rural) Brajesh Srivastava said.

Kuril, police officers said, has been childless since his marriage in 1999 and believed that, as per “tantric practices”, eating the girl’s liver would help them have a child. He persuaded his nephew, Ankul, and his friend Beeran, to kidnap the girl and remove her liver. Kuril was arrested on Monday and his wife was also detained due to the apprehension that she knew about the incident, a police official said.

Around Diwali, many incidents of people practising superstitious ‘black magic rituals’ are reported. Apart from human sacrifice, some species of owls are also used in ‘rituals’ that people falsely believe ‘cure’ illnesses or ward-off ‘evil spirits’.

Parshuram initially tried to mislead the police, but after facing “intensive interrogation”, confessed to his crime, the ASP told Indian Express.

Ankul and Beeran were paid Rs 1,500 for the task and reportedly used the money to buy alcohol, Srivastava said. The accused also told the police that they sexually assaulted the girl and then strangled her, following which they cut open her stomach to remove her organs. Postmortem report shows shock and haemorrhage due to antemortem injuries as the cause of death.

The two abducted the girl when she left her home in Bhadras village on Saturday night to buy firecrackers and raped her before killing her, he added.

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“Both men were inebriated – they took the girl, sexually assaulted her before cutting her body open and bringing her liver to their uncle,” the SP told the national daily. The police have not found the organ at the latter’s house, he added.

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 had said forensic experts and sniffer dogs were pressed into service to gather scientific evidence to confirm if the girl was killed in an act of “black magic”.

After the girl went missing on Saturday, her family searched for her in the nearby areas, including the jungle, using flashlights, but failed to locate her during the night, Singh had said and added that her body was found by some villagers passing through the jungle on Sunday morning, according to news agency PTI.

“Her mutilated body was found around a kilometre from the village near a jungle. Senior officers, along with forensic teams and dog squad, visited the spot and later we found that two youths from the neighbourhood had abducted the girl on the pretext of giving her a packet of potato chips. The duo tried to sexually assault her, and when faced resistance they tied her hands”, Singh told Indian Express.

The girl’s belongings, including her slippers and clothes, were found near a tree.

SP Srivastava said an FIR has been filed under IPC Sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and during interrogation the duo confessed to the crime. IPC section dealing with gangrape and relevant Sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act were subsequently added to the FIR.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has directed officials to extend financial help of Rs 5 lakh to the victim’s family. He said the case would be heard in a fast-track court so that the accused are punished at the earliest.

(With inputs from PTI)