The 25-year-old was allegedly told her skills would only be complete after sacrificing her 3-year-old nephew and eldest son.
Police in Nepal arrested the suspect in the town of Samanpur, south of the country’s capital Kathmandu and charged her with ‘sacrificing’ a child.
Officers said Mahadevi Yadav beheaded Nitesh Kumar Yadav, at midnight on Saturday. Police said Yadav has confessed to the crime.
The New York Daily News reported today that Yadav sacrificed the boy following instructions from her guru with whom she had been learning witchcraft.
She was quoted as saying: ‘I had been learning witchcraft from Chhabilal Yadav of Haraiya for the past month. He told me that my witchcraft skills would be complete only after the sacrifice of the nephew.
‘Accordingly I took him at Bramhsthan and beheaded him on Saturday after a pooja.’
Yadav then threw the boy’s head into the Bagmati river while she buried the torso in her ‘pooja’ room, the New York Daily News said.
Police have exhumed the body and taken it to Gaur near the border with India for a post mortem.
According to Yadav, Chhabilal further demanded that she sacrifice her eldest son as well.
The victim, a resident of Manpur, had been staying in his maternal uncle’s house for the past month.
Police became suspicious of Yadav’s ‘activities’ after she informed them that she found the boy’s body.
Earlier, she had registered a complaint with the police saying that the boy had gone missing.
SP Thule Rai told the press that Chhabilal and Yadav’s family members are at large. Villagers said Mahadevi was a normal woman and that she did not have a history of mental illness that they knew of.
The incident has left the local people and rights activists shell-shocked.
‘We are shocked to hear the news at a time when incidents of torture against women for allegedly practicing witchcraft are on the rise in the region,’ said rights activists Bipin Gautam.
An Indian couple was arrested last month for attempting to bury her child alive on the orders of a guru.