Four of family charged with practising witchcraft, lynchedJune 10th, 2008 - 7:22 pm ICT by IANS
Guwahati, June 10 (IANS) Four members of a family in India’s northeastern state of Assam were lynched by a mob that charged them with practising witchcraft, said a police official Tuesday. A police spokesman said the incident took place Monday at Milanpur village in Sonitpur district, about 230 km northeast of Assam’s main city Guwahati.
“A large mob armed with crude weapons attacked a family killing 65-year-old Lakhan Majhi, his wife, their son and daughter-in-law,” police official Saurav Saikia said on telephone.
The mob then buried the bodies in a pit on the outskirts of the village.
Locals in the area accused Majhi’s family of casting evil spells on a youth who died Saturday after a brief illness.
“This is nothing but killings due to superstition,” said Saikia.
No arrest has been made so far.
The police Tuesday exhumed the corpses and began investigation.
“After the police arrived in the village, all the male members fled and just a few women and girls were around,” another police official said.
At least 200 people were killed by mobs in the northeast over the past five years for allegedly practising witchcraft.
Superstition, black magic and demonology are integral to tribal customs in parts of Assam, Tripura and other northeastern states.
The Assam police have intensified an ongoing drive to curb this social crime.
Codenamed Project Prahari (Vigilant), the crusade includes community-policing measures, besides regular awareness campaigns among tribal chiefs and village elders.
The police campaign is now focusing on educating villagers and holding meetings in areas dominated by tribals.
“We need to bring about a change in attitude rather than trying to enforce the law. We have to create awareness about this social evil to stop such barbaric incidents from taking place,” Assam Inspector General of Police Kula Saikia told IANS.