Superstition, revenge and human sacrifice claimed the life of an 11-year-old boy, police said on Monday after taking the main accused in custody.
On June 14, Agamkuan police in Patna City recovered the headless corpse of a boy. The child was identified as Badi Pahari resident Sujeet Kumar, alias Chotu. He was reported missing earlier in the day. On Sunday, Tuntun Mahto, a 50-year-old from the same village, was arrested for killing the boy with the help of a friend. The accomplice surrendered in court on Saturday.
An officer at Agamkuan police station told The Telegraph on Monday: “It was a shocking incident considering the brutality of the crime and the age of the victim. Two days after the murder, on June 16, the police recovered the head of the victim from the Mushari area of Badi Pahari. Tuntun Mahto was arrested on Sunday for killing the boy with a friend. He was sent to judicial custody.”
The police officers said the duo had meticulously planned the crime.
Tuntun wanted to offer a human sacrifice so that his family was in good health and prospered. His friend, Patthal Mahto, who helped him kill Sujeet, wanted to take revenge on Sujeet’s father.
“Tuntun had three children but they were always unwell. So, he wanted to offer the gods a human sacrifice, thinking it would bring good health to his family. Patthal assisted because he wanted revenge on Sujeet’s father, a small-time farmer, for refusing to sell him a plot of land,” the officer said.
He added: “The victim’s father, Shyam Babu Sah, is bedridden with paralysis. Sujeet was the youngest in the family and had three brothers, aged between 20 and 24 years. Tuntun, during interrogations, confessed that he got the idea of a human sacrifice for them to get better. Working on his idea, on June 14, he went to a temple in Narauli on the outskirts of Patna to talk to a priest. Hearing his plan, the priest outright refused him. Although Tuntun was disappointed, he kept on thinking of the plan. With the plan in mind, he met Patthal for a drinking session in a field in his village around 3 in the afternoon.
During investigation, the police got information about Tuntun’s meeting with the priest.
Going back to Tuntun’s confession, the officer said: “As Tuntun shared his plan with Patthal, the other man told him of Shyam Babu Sah and how he had planned to buy a plot of land from the farmer but was refused. He told Tuntun that Sah had a small son who could be used for the sacrifice, which would also take care of his revenge. Right then, Sujeet happened to come to the spot to cut grass and the duo immediately acted on their plan. Patthal held the boy, while Tuntun chopped of his head with the weapon Sujeet had brought to cut the grass. They left the headless corpse in the field and threw away the head in the Mushari area. As Sujeet did not return home, the family lodged a missing complaint. The headless corpse was recovered the same evening. The investigation started and the family expressed their doubt over the involvement of Patthal that slowly led officers to Tuntun,” an officer said.
The officer said the police found out from their sources that Tuntun had met the priest in Narauli in Bakhtiarpur area on the outskirts of Patna. The police questioned the priest, who said Tuntun had come to him on June 14 to ask how a human sacrifice was done.
“Patthal surrendered in court on Saturday, while Tuntun was arrested and sent to judicial custody,” the officer said.
Kanak Verma, a senior psychology teacher at Patna University, said it has been observed that people commit such type of crimes out of superstitious beliefs. He said: “Lack of education and lack of awareness among people is another reason behind people committing such crimes.”