Police said decapitated body of Thepa Kharia, an unemployed man, was found inside his house in a remote tribal village of mainly farmers in eastern state of Jharkhand.
The police investigating whether a group of occultists beheaded the 55-year-old man as a sacrifice to the gods for a better harvest.
A brother of the slain man has told police that a group of occultists broke into the house and cut off Kharia’s head for burial in a field as part of a local ritual intended to increase crop yields and improve rainfall.
“The family says the occultists killed him for the ritual. His head is still missing,” Ajay Kumar Thakur, the officer investigating the killing in Gumla district of the state, said.
Police have launched a hunt for occultists in the area.
Another brother of the victim said a group called Orkas involved in the practice. “Orkas can be anyone, from farmers to tantriks. They bury the head in the field and expect that the sacrifice will yield good harvest for the community.”
He said this is an age-old ritual that has not been opposed.