The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Five of family beheaded

Guwahati, March 18: A 60-year-old tea worker and four members of his family were beheaded today for allegedly practising witchcraft in a garden under Biswanath Chariali police station in Sonitpur district.

Sources said Amir Munda of Sadharu tea estate, his sons Kaklu and Pasing and daughters Luduri and Sumi, were beheaded one by one around 2.30 pm in the Kachari labour line of the garden after a kangaroo court found them guilty of practising witchcraft.

A 250-strong mob which implemented the court’s ghastly ruling then walked 5 km along National Highway 52 carrying the severed heads and shouting slogans against witchcraft all the way to the police station.

The mob reached the police station around 4 pm to deposit their gruesome booty.

Additional forces from the district headquarters have been rushed to the spot to quell spiralling tension in the area. Senior officials are camping at the police station.

“We are trying to control the situation. Then we will initiate our proceedings. They all are claiming to be behind the hacking. We are trying to find out the truth,” T. Gogoi, officer-in-charge of the police station, said.

Munda’s pregnant wife Terosi was spared, but she is untraceable.

Sources said tension was brewing in the garden ever since a mysterious ailment struck the Kachari labour line two weeks ago. Two garden workers died, while several others were afflicted.

Soon the community’s suspicions fell on Munda.

On March 16, the labourers called a meeting to discuss the issue, to which Munda, too, was invited. When he fled with his family, their suspicion turned into belief. His bloodthirsty pursuers caught up with him last night.

Today, the labourers held a vichari, a kangaroo court of sorts, where Munda was questioned about his activities. When he denied practising witchcraft, Munda was beaten until he “confessed” his entire family’s involvement in occult practices. The vichari promptly sentenced them to narbali or sacrifice to the gods.

The garden, belonging to Darshan Lal Jagadish Prasad Company Limited, has a workforce of 1,260.

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