NEW DELHI – An Indian couple allegedly committed suicide by using a guillotine-like process to behead themselves in a sacrificial ritual, police said Sunday.
Hemubai Makwana, 38, and his wife Hongsaben, 35, were both beheaded after using a homemade blade mechanism in a hut on their farm in the western state of Gujarat, police said.
“The couple first prepared a fire altar before placing their heads under a guillotine-like mechanism held by a rope,” Indrajit Singh Jadeja, a police sub-inspector, was quoted as saying by Indian news outlets. “As soon as they let go of the rope, an iron blade fell on them, severing their heads, which went up in flames.”
Fire is considered sacred in Hinduism and plays an important role in several puja rituals. The couple apparently designed the device used in their beheading so that their heads would roll onto the fire altar, completing their sacrificial ritual.
Police, who said they received a suicide note addressed to family members, have launched an investigation. The couple is survived by two children and their parents.
The incident took place sometime between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon when the police were alerted.
Family members told the police that the couple had prayed daily in the hut for the past year.
Ritual human sacrifice is not unknown in India, where official data shows more than 100 were reported between 2014 and 2021. But in almost all known cases of human sacrifice, people kill others to please the gods rather than themselves
At the beginning of this month, Indian Dr Police arrested five people A woman was killed inside a Hindu temple in Guwahati in 2019, in what they said was a case of religious human sacrifice.
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