A seven-year-old girl was found dead in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur on Sunday with her liver extracted. The police suspect that the accused also tried to rape her.
The police said a childless couple in the girl's village paid Rs. 1,000 to two men who are neighbours of the child to perform an occult ritual so that the couple could have children.
The two men allegedly kidnapped the girl on Saturday night. The men, drunk, first tried to rape her and then killed her, the police said.
After this, they allegedly extracted the liver from the girl's body and took it to the couple as part of the 'ritual'.
Some other body parts could also have been extracted, the police said.
The child was found dead in a village on Sunday morning.
All four accused have been arrested.
"Several teams were deployed to crack the case. The girl's neighbours, Ankul and Beeran, were picked up based on suspicion. On questioning, they confessed. They said a man called Parshuram, who is the uncle of Ankur, paid them some money to do this....," senior police officer Brajesh Srivastava said.
"The two (Ankul and Beeran) were drunk and tried to misbehave with her. After this, they cut her open, took out her liver and gave it to Parshuram."
They said that Parshuram got married in 1999 but had not had a child so far, the officer said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken note of the crime and directed officials to take strict action against the accused. He has also directed the officials to extend a financial help of Rs. five lakh to the victim's family.
The Chief Minister has said the case would be heard in a fast-track court so that the accused are punished at the earliest.
(With inputs from PTI)