Mother-Daughter Accused of Witchcraft, Killed by Neighbours in Jharkhand
The 50-year-old woman and her young daughter were beaten by their neighbours before being attacked with knives on Wednesday night.
Image for representation.
New Delhi: A mother and daughter were hacked to death by three men over allegations of witchcraft in Jharkhand's West Singhbhum district, police said on Saturday.
The 50-year-old woman and her young daughter were beaten by their neighbours before being attacked with knives on Wednesday night. Police said the victims' family was embroiled in a land dispute with one of the accused, who used black magic allegations as a cover-up to commit the crime.
"One of the accused told the villagers that the women were witches and responsible for deaths and diseases in the village. They attacked the women in the night and killed them brutally," said district police chief Indrajit Mahatha.
According to the police, the husband, Subhash Khandait, and the couple's son managed to escape during the incident. He lodged a complaint on Friday.
In the complaint, Khandait said there was a puja at his place on Monday, which was attended by his neighbour Rambilas's wife, following which she fell ill. This led Rambilas's family members to attack Khandait's wife and daughter.
"The FIR has been lodged. We are investigating the case," Aanad Mohan, Deputy Superintendent of Police, West Singhbhum, said.
More than 2,000 people — many of them women — were killed across the country on suspicion of witchcraft between 2000 and 2012, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. Some states, including Jharkhand, have introduced special laws to try to curb crimes against people accused of witchcraft and superstition.
Experts say belief in witchcraft and the occult remains widespread in impoverished rural communities across the country. There are also occasional reports of human sacrifices.
Earlier this month, police in northeastern Assam state said they suspected a case of human sacrifice after finding the headless body of a woman near a Hindu temple.
(With inputs from IANS)
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