The Uttar Pradesh Police said on Saturday they were not sure if it was true that the two men arrested for the killings of several children in Noida ate the flesh of their victims.
News reports claiming that one of the men had confessed to feasting on the liver of his victims after being brutally done to death seem to have left the police aghast.
"I fail to understand how the media has concluded this when the narco analysis test on the accused (Moninder Singh Pandher and his servant Surinder Kohli) has barely started," Noida Senior Superintendent of Police RKS Rathore said.
He, however, added: "It is rather early and premature to say anything right now. But considering the glaring perversion and brutalities, we do not rule out any possibility."
Moninder Singh and Surendra were flown to Ahmedabad on Friday for a special test at the Forensic Scientific Laboratory. Police from Noida are with them.
"Our team is in no position to say anything until the narco-analysis test is complete. In fact, the tests are to formally commence on Saturday," Rathore said.
"It appears that after a theory on cannibalism was floated by a TV channel, the print media too decided to lap it up without cross checking the authenticity of the TV report," he added.
Yet another angle that the police are trying to figure out is the possibility of the killings being a part of some organ-trading racket. However, a medical expert here has ruled out the possibility.
"Removal of the kidneys from a human body is a very delicate process and has to be necessarily done on a person with a beating heart, so that the blood circulation process is on. You cannot remove the kidney of a dead person," pointed out Diwakar Dalela, head of the urology department at the King George's Medical University in Lucknow.
"Well, unless the kids were first taken to a well-equipped operation theatre for removal of kidneys and then done to death, the question of organ transplant could not arise," he said.
"In any case, organ transplant requires so many pre-requisites like blood and kidney matching between the donor and recipient. Besides no Indian hospital so far has facilities to preserve a kidney for more than three to four hours."