A five-month-old baby boy was set ablaze alive by his mother allegedly to appease god at Sonari in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar district bordering Nagaland late Monday night.
Ranju Devi (30) committed the crime when others in the family were asleep, the police said.
Ranju Devi’s brothers – Sunil Shah and Vijay Shah – are both daily wage earners who have been staying at a rented house in Sonari. She had come to visit them from Darbhanga in Bihar about four days ago along with her husband Chote Shah and three children – a three-year-old daughter and two sons, who are twins and aged five months. The locals claimed that a tantric (witch doctor) visited Ranju Devi at least twice in the past three days and advised her to perform a puja and sacrifice one of her sons to god. She was purportedly upset after a dream that if she did not sacrifice one, both will die.
“She has confessed her crime. After being tipped off by the locals, we retrieved the body from a nearby jungle where it was buried after the incident,” inspector Durlav Das of Sonari police station told dna. The police have arrested Ranju Devi, Chote Shah and Sunil Shah. Vijay Shah has absconded.