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Couple uses guillotine to behead themselves in sacrificial fire ritual

Photo by: Bob Henry/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A man and wife from India used a guillotine-like mechanism to decapitate themselves as part of a ritualistic sacrifice, according to Yahoo News.

A guillotine is a mechanism historically used for beheadings, using a blade plummeting down into a fixture where the victim's head and neck are placed.

Police said that Hemubhai Makwana and his wife Hansaben died by decapitation by a homemade, bladed mechanism inside their hut. The pair is said to have prepared a fire altar before beheading themselves and designed their guillotine so that their dismembered heads would roll into the fire altar to complete the ritual.

In Hinduism, according to the report, fire is thought to play a significant role in worship rituals.

"The couple first prepared a fire altar before putting their heads under a guillotine-like mechanism held by a rope," said a police sub-inspector, according to the Hindustan Times.

"As soon as they released the rope, an iron blade fell on them, severing their heads, which rolled into the fire," the inspector said.

A suicide note was recovered from the scene, which reportedly urged the couple's relatives to take care of their parents and children. The case was registered as an accidental death, according to the Indian outlet.

The couple lived on a farm in the state of Gujarat, India, which has a population of over 60 million.

According to Yahoo, official data shows that more than 100 cases of ritualistic human sacrifice have been reported in Indian between 2014 and 2021. Typically, the sacrifices are killing others and not suicide.

CBS News reported five men were arrested in early April 2023 for a human sacrifice that was carried out in 2019. A woman was beheaded at a temple in a state capital and was meant to be an "offering" to the temple goddess.

The report states that while 12 people were involved in the murder, five were accused of planning the crime.

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