Assam: Woman declared witch by villagers, both woman and school teacher beheaded for protesting killing

Guwahati: Residents of a village in Assam killed two people, including a school teacher, in a suspected case of witch-hunting. The deceased included a 50-year-old widow who the villagers claimed was a “witch” and responsible for another woman’s death in the area. The other victim, a 28-year-old man who was protested and criticised the mob for their superstitious belief, was also beheaded along with the widow.

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The incident occurred in Langhin Rahimapur under Dokmoka Police Station where a few angry villagers attacked Ramawati Halua in her house with sharp weapons and when Bijoy Gaur, a school teacher, tried to intervene, both were brutally murdered. According to sources, the villagers then beheaded the bodies and offered prayers to ward off evil, and later dragged their bodies across a river and cremated them on a distant hill side.

The villagers also tried to kill the teenage daughter of Ramawati but the girl escaped and reached the Dokmoka Police Station on Thursday morning and gave her statement. A police team rushed to the spot and recovered the murder weapons and remnants of the victims’ bodies.

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So far, the police have arrested nine people and a search is on to nab others. One of the accused admitted to his crime and surrendered to the police. The village where is crime occurred is mostly inhabited by the Adivasi community where people either work as daily wage labourers or as small-time farmers.

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“All accused belong to the same community and the incident was reported from elsewhere. The people are economically to backward and are loaded with superstitious beliefs. We will now prepare a charge sheet and if the court convicts them then only we can say that we reached a logical conclusion,” said Karbi Anglong, SP, Debojit Deuri.

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According to sources, a woman from the village had died a few days ago after falling sick and was taken to Guwahati for treatment. During her post death ritual, another woman started showing “abnormal signs”, claiming Ramawati Halua was the witch behind the death and would bring bad fortune to the village.

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