Man kills 12-year-old sister in sacrifice to goddess of war, police say

Indian officials say they have recovered young girl's headless body from forest

Conrad Duncan
Tuesday 07 January 2020 15:28
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The man reportedly sacrificed his sister to gain favour with a Hindu goddess of war called Durga
The man reportedly sacrificed his sister to gain favour with a Hindu goddess of war called Durga

A man who was out on bail after being jailed for committing a human sacrifice has been arrested for killing his 12-year-old sister to appease a Hindu goddess of war, according to local reports.

Police in Odisha state, India, have said the man, Subhoban Rana, confessed to killing his sister Janani to gain favour 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.

Mr Sampat added that Rana had been arrested with a man called Kunja for sacrificing the latter’s nine-year-old nephew in October 2018.

Musuru Rana, the girl’s father, has reportedly demanded stringent punishment for his son over the killing.

A police investigation is said to be underway to determine the exact cause of the girl’s death.

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 honour the Hindu goddess Kali.

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