Rights

Over Ten Detained in Jharkhand in Lynching of Four Elderly Tribals

The deceased persons were beaten to death by masked men who accused them of practicing witchcraft.

Gumla: Over ten people were detained for allegedly lynching four elderly tribals, including two women, accusing them of practicing witchcraft in the Gumla district in Jharkhand, police said Monday.

Suna Oraon (65), Champa Oraon (79), Fagni Oraine (60) and Piro Oraine (74) were beaten to death by a group of ten masked men in Nagar-Siskari village on Saturday night, they said.

However, nobody in the village is willing to talk about the incident, police said.

“Over ten villagers have been taken into custody since Sunday for interrogation. Locals used to visit the deceased, who were suspected of performing witchcraft, with the belief that they could cure diseases,” SP Anjani Kumar Jha said.

He said the victims were not involved in any land dispute, which many experts believe becomes the reason behind accusing people of practicing witchcraft.

“Branding a person as ‘witch’ is one of the tactics to usurp his or her properties. Majority of the incidents occur in tribal areas as sorcery is widely practiced there,” said Premchand, chairman of Free Legal Air Committee, which works towards the eradication of witchcraft.

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