Witchcraft whiff in woman's murder

Two persons of Haradabahara villagers have allegedly poisoned an woman to death on the suspicion that she was practising witchcraft.

By Our Correspondent in Keonjhar
  • Published 29.08.18
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Keonjhar: Two persons of Haradabahara villagers have allegedly poisoned an woman to death on the suspicion that she was practising witchcraft.

The incident occurred on Monday at the tribal-inhabited village in Ramachandrapur police limits of the district.

The deceased, police said, was identified as 65-year-old Phula Majhi.

The medical report found the woman died due to consumption of toxic substances such as pesticides.

An FIR lodged by the victim's family accused Rabindra Majhi and his mother Heera Majhi, who hail from the same village, for committing the murder of the woman.

"Rabindra did not have children. He and his mother believed that Phula had cast evil on them by sorcery practice. As a result, Rabindra's spouse was unable to bear a child for him. The duo forced Phula to consume poison," said a police official.

As the woman was diagnosed of dying due to poisoning, an unnatural death case had been registered.

However, the case was converted to offence under the Odisha Prevention of Witch-Hunting Act and the Indian Penal Code Section 302 (murder) following the filing of the complaint.

"Those named in the FIR are absconding. Therefore, it appears that there is a veracity in the complaint. Search is on to nab the absconders to expedite the investigation of the case," said an investigating official.

Witchcraft related violence is being reported at periodic intervals from the tribal-infested villages of the district. At least four such offences have been registered in the district this year.

"The police are launching anti-witchcraft campaigns from time to time," the official said.

He added: "These sort of disconcerting incidents are occurring because of poverty, family disputes, blind beliefs and lack of education. The police will shortly re-launch the anti-sorcery campaign to curb such occurrences."

The tantriks or the witch-doctors in these areas are trouble-makers, who motivate and convince the gullible people to brand a woman or a man as a witch.