Lucknow: A woman and three members of her family killed their neighbour's seven-year-old daughter after a self-styled godman said it would improve her marital relations, police in Uttar Pradesh's Ballia district said on Saturday.
While the godman is on the run, the woman along with her brother, sister-in-law and mother have been arrested.
Usha Sharma, 30, a native of Sehdeswa village, Oct 7 abducted seven-year-old Beenu, the daughter of Awadesh Kumar, and strangled her to death while performing a series of rituals before the idols of goddesses at her house, police said.
'Investigations reveal that before committing the crime, Usha decorated the victim with flowers, vermillion and other puja items. After killing the girl, she dumped the body outside the village,' police inspector P.N. Mishra told reporters in Ballia, some 300 km from Lucknow.
Beenu's body was recovered Friday.
'After noticing flowers, vermillion and other puja items near the body, we suspected human sacrifice. While carrying out the probe, we came to know that the girl was last seen with Usha. We interrogated her and she broke down,' said Mishra.
According to police, due to strained relations with her husband, Usha had moved into her parental house a few months ago. She came in contact with the godman, who told her that sacrificing a minor girl would improve her marital relations.