A 4-year-old Indian boy was reportedly beheaded on Sept. 30 as part of a ritual believed to be an offering to a deity in the southern coastal region of India.
The New Indian Express reports that the boy was studying when he was suddenly kidnapped in the Prakasam district on Sept. 30. The family became worried after the boy, named L. Manusagar, did not return home that afternoon.
According to police, Tirumala Rao kidnapped the boy from a center where he was studying in the village. A girl from the murdered boy’s neighborhood who usually accompanied him home from school told the boy’s mother that he had been taken by Rao.
When the mother went to Rao’s house to find the boy, nobody answered, so she went inside. There, she found the beheaded body of her son. The boy’s head was separated from the body and a utensil with his blood on it.
Upon seeing her son’s lifeless boy, the boy’s mother started to scream. Neighbors arrived on the scene and then went searching for Rao.
The villagers reportedly beat the man, tied him up, and set him on fire, accusing him of sorcery and murder. The man allegedly claimed that he could bring the boy back to life.
When police arrived in the village, the man was rescued and taken to a government hospital nearby, where he is reportedly in critical condition.
Rao will reportedly be examined by a psychiatrist once he is released from the hospital.