10 held in Odisha for torturing old woman for alleged ‘witchcraft’

Bhubaneswar, Aug 3 :

At least 10 people were arrested for torturing an old woman last week for alleged witchcraft in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, police said Sunday.

witch huntingThose arrested are from Jodapokhari village where the crime took place July 27, Additional District Superintendent of Police G.C. Mallick told IANS.

Some of the arrested people are close relatives of the woman, the police officer said.

The 60-year-old tribal woman was beaten up and paraded naked in Jodapokhari, about 300 km from Bhubaneswar, for allegedly practicing sorcery. The incident came to light when police rescued the woman who was stripped naked and tied to a pillar in the village.

Mallick said an 18-year-old man of the same village died of malaria July 23 in a government hospital.

His family suspected the death was caused by sorcery and refused to perform his last rites. The family asked three women, whom they suspected of practising witchcraft, to bring him back to life, Mallick said.

While the rituals were being performed, one of the women left the place, but the villagers caught her. They accused her of killing the young man, beat her up, stripped her and tied her naked to a pillar, he said.

Police rescued the woman and admitted her to a hospital. Later, she was shifted to the district headquarters town of Baripada, he said.

The villagers cremated the young man’s body July 28, he said.



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