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regular-article-logo Monday, 24 June 2024

Elderly man hacked to death in Jharkhand

The incident happened in Parsa Navatoli village under Raidih police station in Gumla district, around 120km south-west of the state capital Ranchi

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 02.04.21, 12:38 AM
The deceased Ranthu Munda used to treat people with traditional herbs.

The deceased Ranthu Munda used to treat people with traditional herbs. File photo

A 65-year-old man was hacked to death in front of his house in Jharkhand’s Gumla district on Wednesday night on the suspicion of practicing sorcery.

The incident happened in Parsa Navatoli village under Raidih police station in Gumla district, around 120km south-west of the state capital Ranchi.

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The deceased Ranthu Munda used to treat people with traditional herbs.

According to police sources, two neighbours Sudhir Munda and Chotu Munda, both in their early 20s, forcibly entered the house of Ranthu around 11.30pm on Wednesday by breaking open the door. They then locked up three members of his family in a room and started beating up Ranthu. Later the duo dragged Ranthu outside and hacked him to death with an axe.

Raidih police station officer-in-charge Nitish Kumar said: “We reached the village in the morning after getting information about the murder. We learnt from the villagers that Sudhir’s sister (16-year-old Sangita Kumari), who had been suffering from some disease for the last seven months, died on Holi (March 29). Sudhir blamed Ranthu for using black magic which led to the death of his sister. On Wednesday night, he conspired with his friend and cousin brother Chotu to kill Ranthu.”

Senior police officials, including Chainpur subdivisional police officer Cyril Marandi, visited the spot. After a search, both the accused were arrested from their houses in the same village. On the basis of their confession, the axe used for the murder was recovered and the accused were remanded in custody.

The body of the victim was sent to the Sadar Hospital in Gumla for post-mortem.

Ranthu’s wife Jamuni Mundain said that her husband used to treat people claiming to know sorcery and this proved to be the reason for his death.

Jharkhand has witnessed the killings of more than 1,500 people for allegedly practicing black magic and witchcraft, a majority of them being women, since its formation in 2000.

In March this year, Jharkhand High Court, taking suo motu cognisance of the killing of five members of a family in Gumla district on the suspicion of practicing witchcraft, had chided the authorities and directed to take “remedial measures and also take serious steps for generating awareness in the people regarding evils of such type of practice”.

Kumar said that almost all police stations have started awareness programmes against superstitions but it seems the people are still believing in such practices.

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