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Search for 'witch' killers

Naugachia: Police are still looking for the main accused for burning alive two persons, including a child, in the name of witch-hunting even though 72 hours have passed. A land dispute is said to be reason behind the incident.

Chandra Dev Singh (55) and his four-year-old grandson, Sanjit, died due to burn injuries after some people set the hut on fire on the midnight of October 13.

The incident had taken place at Sripur village under Naugachia town police station. Naugachia SP Pankaj Sinha said Usha Devi was arrested whose husband Ganesh Singh, along with mukhiya Mahil Singh, is the main accused.

All the accused are absconding with their family members. The accused allegedly set the hut of Chandra Dev on fire after pouring petrol. According to police the intention was to kill Bindu Devi (49), the wife of the deceased, for allegedly practicing black magic.

Ganesh's wife fell ill soon after a dispute and he blamed Bindu of using black magic on his wife, SP Sinha said.

Amrit Singh, the son of the deceased, alleged in the FIR that before Durga Puja, Ganesh and Mahil threatened his mother Bindu with dire consequences. Amrit, a daily wage labourer at Chandigarh, who has come to the village to celebrate Diwali with his family, lost his son Sanjit. Bindu managed to escape but her husband Chandra Dev succumbed to burn injuries at JLNMCH, Bhagalpur. Sanjit died on Saturday evening at the hospital.

SP Sinha said there was not a single eyewitness in the incident but since the accused had threatened Bindu, Ganesh and Mahil are under the radar.

"A 10 year-old boy who was sleeping in the hut and subsequently survived, told the police that he woke up from sleep on that night after some liquid fell on his body," Sinha told The Telegraph, adding that the police has initiated a manhunt for nabbing the accused soon.

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