Infant beheaded in Hyderabad to ‘ward off evil spirits’, couple held
Police said a sorcerer had allegedly advised the accused – a cab driver – to sacrifice a girl child to relieve his wife of all her ailments.Updated: Feb 15, 2018 20:01 IST
Rachakonda police on Thursday cracked a sensational case involving the decapitation of a three-month-old baby in the outskirts of Hyderabad late last month.
The police arrested 40-year-old cab driver Kerukonda Rajasekhar and his wife, K Srilatha (35), for allegedly sacrificing the infant to appease “evil forces” on the night of January 31, which coincided with a lunar eclipse.
Rajasekhar allegedly kidnapped the girl child while she was sleeping with her parents on a pavement in Secunderabad’s Bhoiguda area. The baby’s severed head was recovered from the terrace of his residence at Chilkanagar on February 1.
Rachakonda police commissioner Mahesh Bhagawat said Rajasekhar, a superstitious person, had been worried about his wife’s health for the last four years. In February 2016, the couple went to the Sammakka Saralamma tribal festival at Medaram in Warangal district, where they met a ‘koya dora’ (or sorcerer) who advised them to conduct a girl child’s ‘narabali’ (human sacrifice) to dispel the evil spirits tormenting Srilatha.
Rajasekhar went on to consult a few more supposed practitioners of black magic, but to no avail. On the night of January 31, he found the infant sleeping on a pavement in Bhoiguda with her parents. After midnight, he kidnapped her in his cab and headed towards Musi river near Pratapa Singaram village in the outskirts of the city.
“Around 2 am, Rajashekar beheaded the girl child, threw the torso and his knife into the river, and waited for about half an hour for the bleeding to stop. He then returned home with the severed head in a polythene bag,” Bhagawat said.
Later that night, he and Srilatha allegedly performed the ‘kshudra puja’ – a ritual for warding off evil spirits – with the severed head placed on a makeshift altar in his living room. “After the puja was done, Rajashekar took the severed head of the infant to the terrace and kept in its southwest corner to ensure that the moonlight and early morning rays fall on it,” Bhagawat said.
Rajashekar left for work as usual early the next morning. However, his mother-in-law – Bala Lakshmi – saw the child’s severed head around 11 am and raised the alarm. Neighbours alerted the police, who reached the spot and commenced an investigation.
After a thorough probe that involved questioning of several people and DNA profiling of blood samples collected from the terrace as well as the living room, police arrived at the conclusion that the crime was committed by Rajasekhar.
“We have taken the accused and his wife into custody. It was only after interrogating them that we managed to crack the case,” Bhagawat said.
First Published: Feb 15, 2018 20:01 IST