RANCHI: In yet another case of witch-hunting in Jharkhand, a 58-year-old woman was beaten to death by the villagers.
The victim has been identified as Salo Devi. After a one and a half-year-old girl child of a labourer in Nagar-Chadri village in Gumla fell ill, fellow villagers suspected the victim and held her responsible.
Sources revealed that around 8-10 people knocked on the door of the victim and took her son for consuming liquor on Saturday night.
“While her son was away, a few villagers dragged the victim out of her home while she was having dinner at 10:30 pm and started beating her with bamboo sticks, boots and punches leaving her seriously injured. When her husband Ahlad Lohra, sister Sabita Kumari and sister-in-law Laxmi Kumari came to her rescue, they were also beaten up and injured by the villagers,” said a local villager requesting anonymity.
Just an hour earlier at around 9 pm, the mother of the ailing child threatened the victim of facing dire consequences for practicing witchcraft, he added.
Police rescued Salo Devi and rushed her to the nearby Referral Hospital at Sisai, where she was declared brought dead.
Police also asserted that the woman was killed on suspicion of practising witchcraft after a little girl fell ill in the village.
“An FIR against 10 named persons and several other unknown persons have been lodged at Sisai Police Station. As of now, nine people have been arrested while the hunt is still on for other accused persons,” said Gumla SP Ehtesham Waquarib.