Dumka, Sept. 10: The body of a primitive tribal woman beaten and then burnt to death for allegedly practising witchcraft was recovered from a Pakur village yesterday.
Sammi Paharin (50) was allegedly assaulted by the gram pradhan of Singarsi ó a village 20km from Amrapara and 70km from the district headquarters ó and his henchmen and then set on fire on the night of September 7.
The matter came to light yesterday when Sammiís husband Babna Paharia approached the Amrapara police. The charred body was subsequently recovered and sent for post-mortem.
Four persons, including village head Gansha Paharia have been named accused in the FIR lodged in this connection on the basis of Babna and some other villagersí statements.
According to the FIR, the village head believed Sammi was responsible for the deaths of some infants in his family. He was convinced that the woman had cast a black magic spell on them.
On September 7, Gansha along with his sons Gangaram and Sitaram and another villager Srinath Paharia broke into Sammiís home at night and beat her with iron rods and bamboo sticks till she collapsed.
The attackers also thrashed Babna and the coupleís 22-year-old son when they tried to save Sammi, forcing them to flee for their lives.
The two only dared return home the next evening, only to be told by other villagers that the culprits had dragged the unconscious woman to a nearby forest and set her on fire.
According to Pakur superintendent of police Mayur Patel, Sammiís husband suspected the involvement of more villagers in the horrific episode.