Rajahmundry (AP): Parents of a six-year-old girl were taken into custody by police today for allegedly branding their daughter with a hot iron as part of a "black magic" ritual at Pithapuram, in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
The six-year-old`s parents allegedly locked her up inside their house for a week and got her mouth, hands and other body parts branded with a hot iron, police said.
The parents said they had carried out the black magic ritual to "relieve" their daughter from her so-called "sins" after she was born on `Amavasya` (new moon night), which is considered inauspicious.
"We contacted a priest to perform the ritual and he was doing so for the past one week," the parents told police.
The case came to light after neighbours who heard the child`s cries, entered the house and rescued her from her parents` clutches. They then handed over the child to Pithapuram police.
Although the parents were taken into custody, the priest involved in the affair is absconding, police said, adding that a search has been launched to nab him.