Indian police probe sacrifice of girl, 7

Jan. 3, 2012 at 10:35 AM

RAIPUR, India, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Police in India's Chhattisgarh state investigated whether a family feud was behind the choice of a 7-year-old girl apparently sacrificed for a good harvest.

Police said Lalita Tanti was kidnapped Oct. 21 from her school in an unnamed village in the Bijapur district and her mutilated body was found two days later in a forest, the BBC reported Tuesday from Raipur, the state's capital.

While two of the girl's neighbors were arrested, police said they believe more villagers were involved.

The girl was offered as a sacrifice to ensure a bumper crop, police said.

"The body was recovered from near a temple so we believe that she was sacrificed," a police official told the BBC. "Our investigations have revealed that there was a dispute between the two accused people and the victim's father … ."

The official said police believe other villagers were involved in the crime as "such kinds of ritual sacrifice involve a whole community or a village."

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