Ranchi: Three members of a family in Jharkhand’s Khunti district were abducted and beheaded by villagers over suspicion that they had performed witchcraft. A quack had pinned the blame of the death of a newborn on the family.
The three were abducted three weeks ago and beheaded later. Police have found out they were killed after a local quack blamed the death of an infant on them.
Mutilated bodies of the victims were recovered from a dense forest area in Khunti and were identified as Birsa Munda (48), his wife Sukru Purty (43) and their daughter Somwar Purty (20). Their severed heads were recovered from nearby locations. The bodies were recovered on Wednesday.
Locals told national daily that a woman had recently delivered a baby but the infant died after a few days. After the death, a local quack announced that the baby had died because of Birsa Munda’s family that practices witchcraft.
The whole family was then abducted in the first week of October. The matter came into light when another daughter of Birsa Munda came to see her family but couldn’t find anyone.
When she reached the village, no one was around. Despite efforts, Telani was not able to get any information on the whereabouts of father, mother and sister. Telani suspected foul play and lodged a complaint with the police.
Police initiated a search operation with the help of a dog squads but to no avail. Acting on a tip off, police came to know of the events leading to the family going missing.
Police have made a breakthrough in the case and arrested three out of the nine accused from the same village. A massive manhunt has been launched to arrest the remaining accused, said SP Khunti, Ashutosh Shekhar.
The SP further informed that the arrested trio have admitted their complicity in the incident. The bodies have been sent for postmortem.