A six-year-old girl was kidnapped, skinned alive and then beheaded.
GULBARGA: Salitha, six-year-old daughter of a Dalit couple at Khajuri village in Aland taluk of Gulbarga district, has become the latest victim of the bizarre rituals of the practitioners of Banamati, a form of black magic practised in this region.
A team from two social organisations, Bharata Jyana Vigyan Samiti and Samudaya, that visited the village to study the mysterious death of Salitha a couple of days ago has come out with details of how the girl was done to death after being kidnapped allegedly by the henchmen of the practitioners of Banamati.
The members of the team included president of the samiti K. Lingappa, its secretary Shivasharana Malegaon, president of Samudaya Shankarayya Ghanti and its secretary Srishail Gooli.
They told presspersons here on Wednesday that Salita, who was kidnapped on November 6, was killed by Banamati practioners.
Head not recovered
Mr. Gooli said the police were yet to recover the head of Salita.
The torso was recovered from an agricultural field on the outskirts of Khajuri village on November 10.
Inspection of the decomposed body revealed that the culprits had first cut her little finger on her right hand, removed her skin from the shoulder to the hip even as was alive and then beheaded her, Mr. Gooli said.
Later, the killers cut the right hip, thigh bone and right arm before leaving the body to rot in the field, Mr. Gooli pointed out.
It is said that Banamati practioners use the bones, the little finger of the victim and the head of the victim in the night long rituals in secluded spots. Salita, who was born at an auspicious time on a Sunday six years ago, was kidnapped on a Sunday.
Mr. Gooli said Salita was the third girl to fall victim to Banamati rituals in the district in the past one year and the police despite having evidence of the large presence of Banamati practioners and their henchmen have not acted against them.
Last year, a girl was murdered at Honnakiranagi in Gulbarga taluk, and in April this year another young girl died in a mysterious fire accident at Mantigi village, which is just 8 km away from Khajuri village. While the police arrested a few persons in the Honnakiranagi case, all those arrested were released on bail. In the Mantigi case, the police belatedly booked a case of murder after the samiti and Samudaya built up pressure on them and the incident gained publicity after it appeared in newspapers.
Accused yet to be arrested
However, Shivamma, the main accused in the case, is yet to be arrested.
The police have also not registered a case against Pujar, who is allegedly the main conspirator in the Mantigi case.
Even in the case of death of Salita, the police initially did not book a missing person's case when the parents approached them.
The samiti and Samudaya members said the indifferent attitude of the police in dealing with the Banamati menace had emboldened its practitioners.
They said the police should immediately act against those practising Banamati in the district.