An 18-month-old baby girl was allegedly sacrificed on Tuesday for black magic rituals in India's southern province of Karnataka.
The incident took place in Budihal village in Yadgir district.
According to police, some unidentified people kidnapped the baby while she was sleeping next to her mother. A couple of hours later, the child's parents found her missing and launched a search in the village.
Reportedly, the unknown persons are believed to have performed the ritual near their house. The report disclosed that the baby may have been killed in a family's hunt for treasure.
The police recovered the body from a well near the place where black magic rituals were being performed.
Police have registered a case against some identified suspect while a man hunt has been launched to nab the culprits behind the incident.
In India, Black magic rituals are practised by Hindu community in various parts of the country for personal gains, property dispute, treasure hunting and male child birth.
Many Hindus believe in the use of black magic in curing diseases, taking revenges, acquiring wealth or attracting an unwilling companion.
People in the countryside in India have the belief that witchcraft and black magic are effective to cure diseases and other major problems for which human, especially the children, are sacrificed during its rituals.
In some cases, human beings have been replaced by animals and birds. But after backlash from animal rights groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) they have been replaced by human effigies.
Black magic refers to a set of supernatural practices that can cause misfortune or even death to others for someone personal gain.
However, human sacrifices are not prevalent in India, rare isolated incidents happen occasionally, especially in rural areas.