The 32-year-old mother, a BSc and BEd graduate, was told by an ascetic that she had to ward off a curse, police said.

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news Crime Friday, April 16, 2021 - 17:45

A young woman in Telangana allegedly slit the throat of her six-month old daughter due to a superstitious belief that she had to sacrifice her child in order to ward off a ‘dosham’ or defect. Police said that 32-year-old Banoth Bharathi had been told by a religious ascetic that she had a defect or curse called ‘naga dosham’ or ‘sarpa dosham’. The incident took place in Mekalapati Thanda of Mothe mandal in Telangana’s Suryapet district.

Mothey Sub Inspector Praveen Kumar told TNM that according to their investigation, Bharathi had been told by an ascetic about five to six years ago that she had ‘sarpa dosham’, and she had been visiting temples and performing various rituals to address the problem she believed she had. After the baby was born, the woman, a BSc and BEd graduate, reportedly started performing more pujas.

“Those who knew her said that she would perform rigorous rituals like lighting a lamp and ensuring it did not go off through the day and night,” SI Praveen Kumar said. “Somehow, she seemed to have come to the conclusion that only if she sacrifices the child would she be rid of the dosham,” he added.

On Thursday, when her husband and other family members were not at home, Bharathi allegedly slit her daughter’s throat with a knife. “A few idols of deities were placed on a dressing table. The baby was then placed in front of the mirror and her throat was slit,” the Sub Inspector said.

After the incident, Bharathi called a relative and confessed to having killed her daughter, he added. Bharathi is now absconding. Mothey police have registered an FIR in the case, and are searching for Bharathi.

In January, a couple in Andhra Pradesh allegedly bludgeoned their two daughters to death with dumbbells as part of a ritual. The couple told the police they believed that their daughters would be resurrected by the end of the ritual.

Read: AP double murder points to the need for strong anti-superstition movement in state

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