The headless body of a girl was recovered from a betel leaf grove in West Midnapore on Saturday morning, according to police. Villagers from the area said the girl was murdered somewhere else, and then dumped in the grove which is in Harashankar Garkilla village, 10 kms away from Tamluk.
“It is too early to come to a conclusion, we are waiting for the postmortem report to ascertain how and when she was murdered. An investigation is on,” West Midnapore SP Alok Rajoria said.
According to police sources, Chandicharan Manna, the owner of the grove, was the first to notice the headless body when he went there to begin work. He immediately informed other locals, who in turn contacted the local police.
“The body was lying naked in a flat position with turmeric powder around it. The two feet had alta poured on them. A bunch of incense sticks and a bowl with a red cloth dipped in vermillion had been placed on her torso,” one of the investigating officers told The Sunday Express on the condition of anonymity.
“There was no sign of resistance apart from a few bloodstains. It seems that the body was smoothly placed there,” said another officer.
Since the objects recovered had religious connotations, locals also claimed that the girl might have been murdered as part of a ‘human sacrifice’ ritual.
“The body is still unidentified, and we are yet to trace out the missing part of the body. All nearby police stations have been informed. We are trying to check if there was any missing report of a girl that matches the physical appearance of the victim. So far, no missing complaint has been lodged under Tamluk police station,” an officer said.
Sniffer dogs were also reportedly taken around the crime scene to try and trace the movements of the accused.