A five-year-old girl in Araria district on Sunday narrowly escaped ‘sacrificial killing’ at the hands of some superstitious villagers who thought beheading her would bring water to their village.
Police said the assailants had made cuts with a knife on the child’s fingers and wrist and were about to slit her throat ‘to please mother nature’ when her cries for help brought neighbours to her rescue.
The sacrifice bid was made at Hayatpur village in RS police station area of Araria when a newly sunk hand-pump on the premises of a government school two days earlier failed to yield water.
“The assailants kidnapped the girl from a house adjacent to the school on Sunday night and were trying to slit her throat when she raised an alarm,” Araria superintendent of police (SP) Sudhir Kumar Porika said.
On hearing her cry for help, people from nearby houses rushed to the school, where the sacrifice was being attempted, rescued the girl and caught hold of six people, who were handed over to the police.
The arrested people have been identified as Parshuram Mandal, Lagen Mandal, Harun, Shahabuddin, Dinesh and Sirajul.
The girl, daughter of a daily wages earner, was undergoing treatment at the Araria sadar hospital. Her condition was stated to be serious.
Even though most of the Hayatpur villagers thought the assailants had acted under the superstition that child sacrifice would bring water to the village, the SP did not rule out the possibility of some other reasons behind the incident.
“We have taken the matter seriously and are investigating it from all angles,” he said.