Two people, who allegedly kidnapped a seven-year-old girl from Noida in Uttar Pradesh to “sacrifice” her for an occult practice on Holi, were arrested on Tuesday and the child was rescued, police said.
One of the accused, a neighbour of the child, was finding it hard to get married and had consulted an occultist, who suggested him the method to please the gods in order to get married. The occultist has been identified but is at large, the police said.
The child, who lived in Chhijarsi village and had gone missing on March 13, has been rescued from Baghpat district, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Noida) Harish Chander said.
He said the locals in Chhijarsi, which falls under Sector 63 police station limits, had launched a search immediately but the child could not be found after which they approached the police.
“An FIR was lodged promptly under IPC section 363 (missing). Searches were launched while over 200 people were tracked through CCTV footage for their connection with the incident after which the two accused were zeroed in and arrested through manual inputs,” Mr Chander said.
Those held have been identified as Sonu Balmiki and his associate Neetu. Three more people, including occultist Satendra, are at large, he said.
The officer said the arrested accused do not have any criminal history but they frequently consumed liquor.
“Sonu who lived in the same neighbourhood was unmarried. He contacted Satendra, who told him that if a human being is sacrificed, he will get married. Subsequently, this child was kidnapped and the accused said they could have sacrificed the child on Holi,” DCP Chander told reporters.
“Due to police’s efforts, the child has been rescued safely. The two main accused have been arrested while three others involved in the episode but absconding will soon be held,” he said.
Mr Chander said a sister of Sonu lives in Baghpat district. The child was kept there and they had planned to sacrifice her in Baghpat.
Police Commissioner Alok Singh has announced a Rs-50,000 award for the police team involved in cracking the case, DCP Chander said.
Further legal proceedings in the case were underway, the police said.
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