RAIPUR, INDIA // A seven-year-old Indian girl was murdered in a tribal sacrifice and her liver offered to the gods to improve crop growth, police in the central state of Chhattisgarh said.
The body of Lalita Tati was found in October one week after her family reported her missing.
"A seven-year-old girl was sacrificed by two persons superstitiously believing that the act would give a better harvest," Narayan Das, the police chief of Bijapur district, said.
The two men was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of killing the girl and offering her liver to the gods in a grisly tribal ceremony. Police said the men had confessed to the crime.
The girl was murdered in a jungle district of Chhattisgarh that is a stronghold of rebel Maoists who have tapped into disaffection among local tribal groups.
Human sacrifices occasionally make headlines in deeply religious and superstitious India, and usually occur in poor areas where some people revere practitioners of black magic.
Two suspected child sacrifices were reported in Chhattisgarh in 2010, while in the same year the decapitated body of a factory worker was found in a temple in the eastern state of West Bengal.
The victims are often ritually killed by witchdoctors to appease gods, spirits or deities.