The rituals were allegedly done to "drive away evil forces" that the man believed were causing him business losses, the police said.

Collage of two pictures where on left is kumkum on the floor where ritual was held and pictured on the right is the child's fatherL: Kumkum on the floor where ritual was held; R: Child's father
news Superstition Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 17:01

A man in Andhra Pradesh has been arrested after an ‘occult practice’ on his three-year-old daughter went horribly wrong, leading to her death. The incident took place in the state’s Nellore district when the father tried some superstitious ‘black magic’ rituals at home on his daughter. Venugopal conducted these rituals at his home, located in Perareddypally village. The rituals were allegedly done to "drive away evil forces" that he believed were causing him losses in his business, the police said.

According to local reports, as part of the ritual, Venugopal poured turmeric water on his daughter Punarnavika. While the police said that kumkum was found in her room, it is still being investigated whether it was stuffed in her mouth, leading to suffocation. The police also told TNM that Venugopal strangulated the three-year-old with his hands.

The ritual was done on his younger daughter, and after things went wrong, the elder one ran out crying, and this alerted neighbours. The neighbours then rescued the three-year-old and rushed the unconscious child to a nearby hospital.

As her condition was serious, Punarnavika was later taken to another hospital in Chennai the same day. However, the child passed away on Thursday morning. After the death, a case was registered against Venugopal, under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. The police have formed two teams to nab Venugopal, who is currently absconding. Venugopal was in the business of selling bricks, but had suffered losses which he believed were caused by “evil forces.”

Speaking to TNM, Atmakur Police Station SI Shivshanker said, "Prima facie, there is no role of any godman in this incident. The father used to often tell his family that the ‘Shani’ (Saturn) is not good. Even on the day of the incident, he said the same line and then decided to do the puja to get rid of the ‘Shani’."

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