India child killed in 'human sacrifice' ritual

map of Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh

Police in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh say they are treating the murder of a five-year-old boy as a case of "human sacrifice".

The child was abducted while playing, allegedly by a man, who beheaded him and threw the blood around his house.

The suspect, identified as Mr Rao, was caught on the outskirts of Pokuru village, where he was beaten up and set on fire by an angry mob.

He has been admitted to hospital with severe burn injuries.

CH Srikant, the superintendent of police for Prakasam district where the village is located, told BBC Hindi that another child had told his parents that Mr Rao had abducted the victim.

"When the [victim's] parents reached his [Mr Rao's] house, they found the child's body there, and some villagers went looking for him [Mr Rao]," Mr Srikant said.

Police said they were told by local people that Mr Rao "suffered from psychological problems" after his wife left him a year ago.

Police have also registered a case against some villagers for setting Mr Rao on fire.

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