There really is no consolidated data from police stations for any period of time, to ascertain whether these numbers are rising, falling or have remained unchanged in the last few years.

Suspected human sacrifices have killed five children in Karnataka in a year
news Human sacrifice Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 19:05

On September 28, two children went missing from their home in a village in northern Karnataka and three weeks later when their mutilated bodies were found, their parents suspect that the children were used in a ‘sacrificial ritual’.

Unfortunately, Nagaraj Shirasangi (13) and his brother Akash Shirasangi (9) are not the the only two children who have died under mysterious circumstances suggesting that they may have been used as sacrifice. Several cases of suspected human sacrifice, black magic, or witchcraft have been reported in the last two years from various districts of Karnataka, including those which are generally considered to have some of the best socio-economic and health indicators in the state.

There really is no consolidated data from police stations for any period of time, to ascertain whether these numbers are rising, falling or have remained unchanged in the last few years. In the last two years at least five children and three adults have died under circumstances that their families say point to a superstitious ritual or human sacrifice. They are under various stages of investigation.

The latest case comes days after a group of progressive seers and other civil society groups launched a series of state-wide awareness programmes, starting with an exhibition in the state capital, Bengaluru.

As the investigation of Kannada writer MM Kalburgi’s murder remains unsolved for nearly seven weeks, the demand for an anti-superstition bill remains as loud as ever.

Here’s your guide to understanding the bill, what constitutes an offence and what does not.

The eight suspicious deaths:

Dharwad district

Nagaraj Shirasangi (13) and his brother Akash Shirasangi (9) of Shirakol village were found dead on Tuesday, their bodies mutilated. They were reported missing from September 28. The manner in which the bodies have been severed has raised suspicion that a superstitious practice was involved.

Kodagu district

A woman named Asha was killed by a self-proclaimed dancing godman who reportedly performed a ritual to free her from ‘sprit possession’. She was allegedly beaten to death. Police have arrested the godman.

Bengaluru Urban

Recently during a public meeting, a couple met chief minister Siddaramaiah in the Whitefield area of Bengaluru and appealed to him to look into the death of their child, whom they said was killed in a human sacrifice last year. The couple who are migrant construction laborers, told the chief minister that their nine-year old child was used for a sacrifice. The child went missing on April 6 and was found dead three days later near a tank in the vicinity of their house, with pieces of lemon and bitter gourd pieces found near the body. The family alleged that her school teacher was responsible for the horrific act.

Koppal district

In February, five-and-a-half year old Gayathri was found dead under mysterious circumstances in the bathroom of a newly constructed building. Villagers alleged that a human sacrifice had been performed a the behest of fortune collectors of the village.

Dakshina Kannada village

In 2013, a Sarika (nearly two years old) of Charmata village was killed allegedly to perform a ritual that would help locate a treasure. Her body was found decapitated, suggesting that black magic was involved. 

Chamrajnagar district

In March, this year two Dalit labourers- Nanjaiah (60) and Krishnaiah (47) were beheaded by one Mahadeva according to a newspaper report in a suspected case of witchcraft. Those two were allegedly sacrificed by Mahadeva who was their employers.




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