GULBARGA: A cleric allegedly participated in the gory murder of his 18-month-old daughter in Firozabad, near here.
He was part of a group looking for a hidden treasure in the Firozabad fort, Superintendent of Police Amit Singh told Express on Saturday.
A group living in the village and hailing from Bihar believed the Firozabad fort, built by the first ruler of the Bahamani kingdom in the 14th century, hid a treasure.
Five months ago, the group brought an imam from Delhi, said to be an expert in finding hidden treasures. He said there was no such treasure in the fort, and went back.
Not satisfied, they brought another imam, Mohammad Ashqua, from Bihar, in the second week of May. He claimed he could divine a treasure, and told the group it could be unearthed with the ritual sacrifice of a baby girl. The group then started looking around for a girl to sacrifice, but couldn’t find one. On May 21, they found Sadiya Ayat, a little girl playing outside her house near the Firozabad mosque.
It turned out she was the daughter of Shamshad Alam, imam of the Firozabad mosque. The group took the girl and kept her sedated in a house in Hasanapaur for three days. Alam lodged a police complaint on May 21 saying his daughter had gone missing.
Singh said Alam was party to the conspiracy, but had not been told his daughter would be killed until the day of the sacrifice, May 24. The group allegedly told Alam he would get a big share of the treasure if he allowed his daughter to be sacrificed. Alam agreed, and was present during the killing, Singh said. Two men in the group, Mashaqua—who died in police custody on Friday—and Mohammad Ashaqua allegedly chopped Sadiya’s ears, neck and hands on the fateful day.
On May 26, her father filed another complaint at the Fartabad police station, saying his daughter had been murdered, and parts of her body had been found behind his house.
Shamshad Alam, now in police custody, had come from Bihar to Firozabad 14 years ago to work as an imam.
A teacher in Firozabad tipped off the police that Sadiya had been sacrificed by a group that included her father. The police have arrested Shamshad Alam, Md Ashque, Mashaqua, Mitu Patel, Razak, Dr Abdul Gafar and Sohail. Gafar is a registered medical practitioner living in Jewargi taluk.