Three women were beaten to death in Jharkhand’s Ranchi district over allegations that they practiced witchcraft, police said on Tuesday. Thirteen people, including the husband and the son of one of the women, were booked in connection with the killing in Ranadih village in Sonahaput police station area, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kaushal Kishore said.
Eight people have so far been arrested and a search is on for the rest, he said. The three women were thrashed with sticks by a group of villagers, who alleged that they practiced witchcraft because of which some people were beaten by snakes in the village, police said.
When they died, the bodies were “dumped" in a hilly area near the village, it is alleged. The bodies of two victims were found on Sunday, while another body was recovered on Monday.
Police said they have detained the husband of one of the victims for questioning after he was named in the complaint filed by the woman’s nephew. Murder on suspicion of witchcraft is a predominant social evil in the state.
As per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a total of 590 people, mostly women, were killed over this between 2001 and 2020.