Nine people face charges of murdering a 10-year-old boy in a human sacrifice ritual in Nepal.
A neighbour in Nepal is said to have confessed to cutting Jivan Kohar's throat “to chase away the evil spirits” from his own sick son.
Police said the body of Jivan Kohar, who had been missing for three days, was recovered from bushland in Nawalparasi district, which is close to the border with India.
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The boy’s throat had been cut and local reports said a man had confessed to the killing “to chase away the evil spirits” from his own sick son after seeking advice from a village shaman.
He lured the boy with the help of neighbours to an isolated place by offering biscuits and promising to pay him just 50 US cents (32p).
He then performed a religious rite, killed the boy and dumped his body in a bush.
Police said nine people will be charged with murder.
More than 80 percent of Nepal’s 28 million people are Hindus. Many frequently sacrifice animals like goats, buffaloes and hens to please the gods.
Animal rights activists have long campaigned for ending of the Gadhimai festival, where millions of worshippers gather to watch the sacrifice tens of thousands of animals.
In the 21st century human sacrifice is an extremely rare practice worldwide, yet within Hinduism there is a history of blood sacrifice, particularly in the worship of the goddess Kali, the slayer of evil.
A male child was sacrificed daily in Calcutta’s Kali temple in India 200 years ago.
Devotees still flock to the Kali temples, but pumpkins instead of people are used in the sacrificial rite.
During police interrogation, the main accused Kodai Harijan confessed that he sacrificed Jivan, son of his friend Shiv Sharan Kohar, by slitting his throat to chase away the evil spirits from the body of his own 18-year-old son.
The victim was found dead with his throat slit in a bush near Shiwan temple on the bank of the Patera River.