A man was arrested after he beheaded and sacrificed his 12-year-old nephew for good crop harvest. The incident took place in the Indian state of Odisha on Saturday.

Police said 48-year-old Chintamani Majhi lured the victim, identified as Dhansingh, to a field in Jadamunda village where he attacked the boy with a sharp object and severed his head with an axe before fleeing from the scene. The boy’s elder brother, who was working at a nearby land, raised an alarm after finding his brother’s severed head.

“After a few minutes, I heard cry of my younger brother from the nearby land. I thought he might have seen a snake or something. But I rushed to the spot immediately and found the severed head of Dhansingh,” the victim’s elder brother said, local daily the Times of India reported.

The villagers rushed to the scene and alerted the police, who arrested Majhi from the village on the same day. During interrogation, the accused confessed to the crime and said he sacrificed his nephew as an offering for "Choru", a sacrifice offered to deities for good crop harvest prior to the beginning of the harvest season.

"We received information that an uncle killed his nephew in Jadamunda village. We have detained Chintamani Majhi and seized the weapon used in the murder. Chintamani said he did it for 'Choru' but further investigation will reveal the actual reason behind killing," a police officer told local television network India Today.

In a similar incident in Odisha in October 2018, a nine-year-old boy was murdered by his brother and uncle in order to appease deities “for the fulfilment of their wishes".

"We started the investigation suspecting it to be a case of human sacrifice. During the interrogation, one of the two accused confessed to the crime," a police officer had confirmed to local media.