A dacoit’s head was chopped off and offered to the deity as sacrifice at a temple in the Dadri village of Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa district, 500 km northeast of Bhopal.
Superintendent of Police Umesh Joga said the severed head, discovered on Friday, belonged to 25-year-old dacoit Mohitlal Mallah, part of the Mallah gang active in the district.
“We suspect his gang members— Chotu Mallah and Anjani Mallah to be behind the murder. Investigations are on,” Joga told Hindustan Times.
The police are looking for the torso and the head has been sent for a postmortem.
According to Jawa Station House Officer Santosh Dwivedi, Mohit Mallah carried a reward of Rs. 15,000 on his head.
Even as the police say Mallah was killed owing to an intra-gang feud, locals maintain he has been beheaded for a ritual.
Mallah’s gang, Joga said, had opened fire on a police party on January 17.
The incident occurred when a police team led by constable Chandramani Pandey went to Dadri to arrest Chottu Mallah, wanted in over a dozen cases.
Seeing the police, Mohit Mallah and his gang shot at them and injured Pandey before escaping.
Mohit’s father Lakhanlal committed suicide a day after a cash award was announced on his head.