'Witch doctor' to hang for beheading boy

2013-04-16 15:02


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Raipur - An Indian "witch doctor" who beheaded an 11-year-old boy and offered the head as a sacrifice to a goddess to improve his fortunes has been sentenced to death, police said on Tuesday.

A local court in impoverished Chhattisgarh state in central India convicted 32-year-old Dilip Rathia on Monday of murder and sentenced him to hang for beheading the boy, police said.

"We proved the man beheaded the boy and his head was offered to the local goddess to obtain better luck," investigating officer Praful Thakur told AFP by telephone.

The case, which highlights the persistence of occult beliefs in remote areas, came to light when police found the child's headless skeleton in the tribal-dominated village of Barpali in Raigarh district, 195km northeast of state capital Raipur.

Forensic tests proved the skeleton was that of an 11-year-old boy named Praveen who disappeared in February 2012 while visiting a village fair, Thakur said.

Police, acting on a tip-off, raided the home of a man said by locals to be a "witch doctor" where they found the child's head.

The man was "practising witchcraft" and "was convicted on charges of murder, hiding evidence and giving false information to conceal the offence", local police official Rahul Bhagat told AFP.

Human sacrifices in deeply religious and superstitious India usually occur in poorer areas where some people fear and revere practitioners of so-called black magic.

The victims are ritually killed by witch doctors to please or appease deities.

In a recent widely-publicised case of suspected child sacrifice, the bodies of a two-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl were found at a home in the industrial town of Bhilai in Chhattisgarh in November 2010.

Seven months before that, the decapitated body of a factory worker was found in a temple in the eastern state of West Bengal.

Read more on:    india  |  religion

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may meet...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.