A four-year-old girl was killed by sorcerers and offered a blood sacrifice for finding a lost mobile phone in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, local reports have said.
The girl belonging to tribal community was beheaded and her hands severed by the practitioners of black magic. Local police said two people have been arrested in the case.
The missing girl's mutilated body was found from bushes near her home in Ratanpur tea estate in Charaideo district of upper Assam, police said.
The police version of the incident says a man named Hanuman Bhumij approached the village tantric after his daughter's mobile phone was lost. The sorcerer allegedly killed the girl in blood sacrifice, which he believed would help retrieve the phone.
"Bhumij had approached the witch doctor to recover the mobile phone. We are investigating allegations that the girl was abducted and sacrificed with the hope of recovering the phone," the local station officer told thee Hindustan Times.
Superstitions claim many lives in India's remote villages. Earlier this week there were reports from Assam that two women were lynched by mobs after being accused of witchcraft and sorcery.
In the incident reported from the central Assam district of Nagaon, two men killed the women after accusing them of defiling the village well with their alleged evil powers.
In this case as well, the victims are from the tribal community, locally known as Adivasis.
"We drink water from a village well. But by practising black magic, they (Sagu and Salmi) filled it up with insects. As a result, we always used to fall sick. So, we caught them last (Monday) night and buried them alive by pushing them into the well and filling it up with mud and earth," one of the men arrested for the murder told the police, the Indian Express newspaper reported.
Rights activists say extrajudicial killings are widely carried out by village chieftains in the tribal belt of the state. Official records say as many as 132 people were killed in witch-hunting in Assam between 2002 and 2012.