realised today I never watched “Indiana jones & the temple of doom” pretty good & much of it set in india!
this is the ‘thuggee’ ceremony. the thugs roamed unchecked for many hundred years until Sleeman went on the warpath
“The Thugs were suppressed by the British rulers of India during the 1830s. The initiative was due largely to the efforts of civil servant William Henry Sleeman, who captured “Feringhea” (also known as Syeed Amir Ali, on whom the novel Confessions of a Thug is based) and persuaded him to turn King’s evidence. Feringhea brought Sleeman to a grave with a hundred bodies, told him the circumstances of the murders and named the Thugs who had committed them.
After initial investigations confirmed what Feringhea had said, Sleeman began an extensive campaign using profiling and intelligence. The government of India established the Thuggee and Dacoity Department in 1835, with Sleeman its first superintendent. Thousands of men were imprisoned, executed or expelled from British India.
The campaign relied on captured Thugs who became informants. These informants were offered protection on the condition that they told everything that they knew. By the 1870s the Thug cult was extinct, but the history of Thuggee led to the Criminal Tribes Act (CTA) of 1871. Although the CTA was repealed at Indian independence, tribes considered criminal still exist in India. The Thuggee and Dacoity Department remained in existence until 1904, when it was replaced by the Central Criminal Intelligence Department (CID). [Wikipedia].
as a boy I read the deceivers, john masters factional depiction of thuggee & sleeman. excellent 1952 adventure story.