Nelamangala, India: Five people, including a Karnataka priest have been detained by police on allegations that they were attempting to sacrifice a 10-year-old girl in order to "ward off evil spirits."
The accused have told investigators that there was no intention to sacrifice the 10-year-old girl but rather, their intent was to get her assistance for a stone-laying ritual for a temple that they wished to build.
The five however, may be charged with kidnapping and criminal intimidation under the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill.
According to the complaint filed against the five, the 10-year-old girl resides with her grandmother in order to attend school while her parents work and reside in Magadi.
The events are said to have happened on June 14.
While the girl was home alone two neighbors, Savithramma and her daughter Soumya are said to have lured the girl to a nearby field under the pretext of giving prasada, or a type of food offering given to idols.
The grandmother returned home and began searching for the girl once she realized she was missing. The report complaint indicates that the grandmother heard the girl's screams and found her in the field with five people.
India Today reports that the girl stated she had been forced to wear a garland and that those in the field had performed some rituals on her. She further alleged in recounting the events that they were trying to sacrifice her.
Police are still investigating.