Raigunj, March 29: A 90-year-old woman was beaten to death in Barogomda village under the Raigunj police station of North Dinajpur district this morning after they suspected her of practising witchcraft.
Police said the old woman, Lakshmi Hansda, was singled out by a medicine man in Chakulia as the one responsible for the tuberculosis that had afflicted her brother-in-law for long. The villagers gathered to pass judgement on the issue yesterday.
“The villagers decided that she would have to be the one to cure the ailing 60-year-old man, Subol Hansda, and they locked her and the man in a hut for the night. This morning, villagers opened the door to find that Subol had died and they just lynched the old woman,” said police superintendent Arun Kumar Sharma.
Soon after the incident, men of the village shut all the shops and fled. Locals are reluctant to speak about the incident even as police hunt for those involved in killing the old woman.
No one was arrested till late this evening.