The 10-year-old girl, who was found murdered near Hosahalli on the outskirts of the city, had allegedly been “sacrificed” by her own relatives “to cure her ailing uncle”, the police said.
Four people were arrested, including the victim’s paternal uncle.
The Ramanagaram district police, who cracked the murder of Ayesha, a fourth standard student, arrested her uncle Mohammed Wasil, 42, who is a secretary of a local mosque, Rasheedunissa, 38, Naseem Taj, 33, and a juvenile on charges of murdering her on March 1. The body was recovered by the Magadi police on March 3.
Wasil hatched the murder plan after he was advised by Naseem Taj, a resident of Goripalya, who allegedly practised black magic, the police said.
“Naseem Taj suggested that Wasil’s brother Mohammed Rafiq could be cured of paralytic stroke if a girl was sacrificed. She had suggested that Rafiq had been “gripped by evil spirits” and paralysed, and to be cured of this, he had to sacrifice a minor girl within 40 days,” the police said.
Call records checked
Following her advice, Wasil zeroed in on Ayesha, who stayed in the neighbourhood. He took a picture of the girl and sent it to Naseem Taj for her approval. On March 1, when Ayesha was returning from her father’s shop, Wasil and the boy kidnapped her and took her away, after gagging her mouth with plastic and a piece of cloth. The Magadi police found that the juvenile was the last person seen with Ayesha. The police also verified Wasil’s call records and interrogated him, upon which he confessed to the crime.
“The accused took her to a tomb on Hosahalli road and slit her throat after performing a ritual,” said Ramanagaram SP Ramesh Bannoth. The accused later stuffed the body in a gunny bag and dumped her a short distance away, he added.
Accused helped family search for child
The main accused in the murder of 10-year-old Ayesha was with her family when they were frantically searching for the child. Mohammed Wasil also accompanied the family to the police station to file a complaint, the police said.
“Wasil even prayed for the girl’s safe return and helped make an announcement about her missing at the nearby mosque, said Reshma Taj, Ayesha’s aunt.
Meanwhile, as news of the arrest spread, angry residents stormed into Wasil’s house and damaged furniture. The residents also staged a roadblock demanding action against the accused.