A school teacher and his family reportedly tried to sacrifice a three-year-old in their house in Udalguri district of lower Assam on Saturday (July 6), but their plans were hindered when the locals intervened and informed the police and media.
The situation turned violent when the people of Ganakpara village in the district called in the police and the media after noticing smoke emanating from the teacher’s house. The police said that the locals complained that, on reaching the teacher’s house, they saw members of the family, including women, disrobing themselves while chanting prayers after placing the girl on a sacrificial altar.
A priest armed with a long sword was trying to sever the child’s head, according to the locals. The villagers claimed that they asked the family to spare the child, but the members continued with their chanting and the priest threatened to attack the locals with a machete and axe.
When the police and media personnel tried to intervene, the family members started hurling stones and utensils and even set fire to their motorcycle, car, television set, and fridge. The police then fired five rounds in the air to bring the situation under control and rescued the child from the clutches of the family.
The teacher and his son were injured in the firing, police said. Eyewitnesses told newsmen that the child was the daughter of the teacher’s sister-in-law and that her father had given away the girl to be sacrificed in the presence of her mother.
They also alleged that the priest had been conducting ‘tantric’ rituals in the house since the suicide of a girl there three years ago. The police have detained the priest and some of the family members.
Investigation into the incident is on, they added.