Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

A four-year-old girl was raped and brutally murdered during a ritual sacrifice in black magic in one of India's backward regions. The child's hands and legs were chopped off in the presumed ritual and her eyes gouged out. This horrific incident was reported from the eastern state of Jharkhand where illiteracy and superstition are rampant.

The police are not ruling out organ trafficking even as the villagers are suspecting a sorcerer who is believed to practice witchcraft. Officers are also keeping an eye on the victim's family and relatives.

According to the Hindustan Times, the mutilated body of the girl, who is a resident of a village in Singhbum district, was found on 22 December. The victim was missing since 15 December and a complaint was lodged thereafter. The corpse has been sent for autopsy.

However, villagers said that Jharkhand police showed disinterest in taking up the case. Officers initially refused to look for the girl, following which angry villagers assaulted the assistant sub-inspector.

Jamshedpur rural superintendent of police, Shailendra Barnwal, finally broke silence regarding the case and said "Someone close and known to the victim appeared to be behind the act because had there been outsiders or a racket been involved they would not have dumped the body in the village. But we are probing every lead and not ruling out any angle," reported the news agency.

Though the victim's father, who is a daily wage worker, has not named any suspect, some villagers said that two men on a motorcycle drugged the child while she was playing outside her house before committing the heinous crime.

Rape and other crimes against women have become an epidemic in India. This shocking incident come just a week after a 19-year-old girl was raped and burnt to death in a slum in Ranchi.