The headless body of a nine-year-old boy, which was recovered by the police earlier this week, was a case of human sacrifice, police sources said here.

Police informed that two persons have been arrested in the case and both are close relatives of the victim.

“Kunja Rana and Shobhana Rana, the two accused in the case are uncle and cousin brother respectively of the victim,” said Saroj Kumar Mohapatra, SDPO of Titlagarh.

He added that during interrogation, the accused confessed to their involvement in the crime and said they had performed the human sacrifice to appease Goddess Durga.

It may be noted that the boy, Ghanasyam Rana, had been missing since October 13, and his family had lodged a complaint at the Sindhikela police station.

Three days later, based on information provided by the local people, the police found a headless body suspected to be of the missing boy from a village, buried in the sand near a rivulet, about 5 km from Sundhimunda.

The severed head was also found nearby.

During the investigation, it was found that the accused Shobhana and Kunja had taken the boy for a ride on their motorcycle. They went to the river bank and conducted a ritual before using sharp weapons to behead the boy.

The weapon and motorcycle have been seized, said Police.