Indian ‘witchcraft’ family beheaded

A family of five has been beheaded in Sonitpur district, north-east India, by a mob who accused them of witchcraft.

The tea plantation worker and his four children had been blamed for causing a disease which killed two other workers and made many unwell in Assam state.

About 200 villagers tried and sentenced the family in an unofficial court, then publicly beheaded them with machetes.

They then marched to a police station with the heads, chanting slogans denouncing witchcraft and black magic.

‘Pregnant wife fled’

The incident occurred at the Sadharu tea plantation near the town of Biswanath Charali, about 300 km (190 miles) north of Guwahati, Assam’s main city.

Sixty-year-old Amir Munda, who was killed alongside his two daughters and two sons, was reportedly a traditional healer.

After two plantation workers died and many others became ill from mysterious illness, other members of the Adivasi Santhal community accused him and his family of being the cause.

“A trial was held to prove if Munda and his family were involved in casting evil spells in the tea garden that led to a bout of epidemics in the area,” police officer D Das said. “They said the killings would appease the gods.

“Munda’s pregnant wife and her three young children managed to escape before the mob killed the other members of the family,” A Hazarika, a local police official, told AFP.

Six people were arrested for the killings, Mr Hazarika said.

According to police records, some 200 people have been killed in Assam in the past five years for allegedly practicing witchcraft.

Source: BBC News
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4822750.stm

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Posted in India

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