It was barely 6 am on Sunday when a band of 25 villagers started combing the forests adjacent to Begun village in Chittorgarh district. The unlikely object of their search was the damaged skull of Salim Ansari, who died last year in an accident.
Ansari’s skull was the second of the two stolen by miscreants from 12 graves in Begun and Nandwai villages between May 11 and June 1 allegedly for using it in tantrik rituals. The incident had sparked tension in the district recently.
On June 8, police arrested four people for digging up graves and decapitating corpses for black magic practitioner Lakshman Jat who had commissioned them for the task and paid Rs1 lakh. The local police, however, showed little interest in recovering the skulls after which the family members of Ansari along with some villagers decided to look for the decapitated head themselves.
After over four hours, the search party located the skull from behind a thicket. It had been hidden there by the accused there after it was declared unfit to be used in the tantric rituals (because it was partially broken) by Jat.
“We couldn’t rest without knowing what happened to the skull of our family member. That is when they decided to find it,” said Ansari’s brother Murtaza. He said that for several days their family members had requested the police to look for the skull, but no action was taken.
“We villagers finally decided to create a search party…After searching for over four hours today (on Sunday), we finally found the skull of Salim, which was hidden inside a bush by the miscreants,” said Murtaza.
He told HT that the skull had been handed over to the police. It would be buried with the body after court hands over its custody to the family of the dead.
“Since the skull is evidence in the case, we will need it at the time of the hearing of the accused. Only after that the court will let the family members bury it,” said Begun station house officer (SHO) Bhawani Singh Rajawat.
The police had recovered the skull of one Shakur, which had been dug out by the miscreants but not supplied to Lakshman, on Saturday.
Five arrests so far
Begun SHO Bhawani Singh Rajawat said occultist Lakshman Jat believed he could conjure a room full of currency notes after performing some tantric rituals over a skull. He had commissioned five labourers to dig up graves and bring him a human skull. He had assured to pay them Rs1 lakh. Jat got the idea from Chittorgarh-resident Yunus, also an occultist. The police have arrested Jat and four labourers, who had dug up the graves. Yunus and another labourer Shankarlal Kanjar are absconding.