A couple was taken into custody on Thursday, 15 February in Hyderabad, for allegedly beheading a 3-month-old baby girl, as a human sacrifice during a ritual ceremony on the lunar eclipse on January 31, 2018. The ritual was allegedly conducted on the advice of a ‘Tantrik’ by the couple, cab driver Kerukonda Rajasekhar and his wife Srilatha. The cab driver, Rajasekhar had allegedly kidnapped the baby girl when she was sleeping with her parents, both of them were beggars in Bhoiguda, Hyderabad. 

He carried the baby girl to Musri river near Prathapsingaram, where he allegedly beheaded her. In the middle of the night, the cab driver along with her wife performed black magic according to the ritual  in the living room of their residence in Chilukanagar. As the ritual ended, Rajashekar carried the head of the baby to the terrace. The alleged murder came into limelight on February 1 when the cab driver, Rajasekhar’s mother-in-law went to the terrace to pick up dry clothes. According to a report published in the national daily, Indian Express, at the time of interrogation, cab driver’s wife, Srilatha confessed that she encouraged her husband to the commit the crime, police said. The couple were produced before a local court today. 

In 2017, the Karnataka Cabinet cleared the anti-superstition Bill, known as Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017. The Bill shall put an end to enormous inhuman practices such as witchcraft, black magic or any other heinous act in the name of religion that causes harm to humans as well as animals. The ban included on many rituals that are often performed by the people in the name of religion, such as forcing any person to perform fire-walk at the time of religious festivals, that causes dire physical injuries, the creation of panic in the minds of public in general by invoking ghost, performing inhuman practices against women by intimidating them and forcing them into utmost isolation, prohibiting re-entry into the village or segregation of women during menstruating, or pregnant women.