The headless body of a woman was found near the Kamakhya temple atop the Nilachal Hill in Guwahati on Wednesday evening ahead of the annual religious fair on the occasion of Ambubachi festival, police said.
Items used in offering prayers and a pair of woman’s sandal were also recovered from the site, they said.
The body was found on the steps leading to the Banadurga temple adjacent to the main Kamakhya temple, police said.
Guwahati Commissioner of Police Deepak Kumar, who visited the site, told reporters that security arrangements have been intensified in view of the gruesome death.
Assam Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had on Tuesday visited the temple premises and reviewed preparations for the annual socio-spiritual congregation from June 22-25.
During the four-day Ambubachi festival, Devi Kamakhya is believed to go through her annual cycle of menstruation. The doors of the temple are closed for the devotees and regular rituals are suspended for four days.
Likening the earth to Devi Kamakhya, no agricultural activity is undertaken during the period. On the fifth day, devotes are allowed to enter the temple only after the ‘shuddhi‘ or the ritualistic bath of the deity.
Over 25 lakh devotees from across the country and abroad are expected to visit the five-day festival, official sources said.