Three women have been lynched by villagers in separate incidents in Gumla district. 22 persons, including 19 women, were on wednesday arrested after being accused of perpetrating the crime.
Superintendent of Police Rakesh Bansal said a group of women at Karonda Jore Dipatoli caught 70-year-old Brijnia Indwar and her 42-year-old daughter-in-law Ignesia Indwar, and beat them to death last night on the suspicion of practising witchcraft.
Based on the report of the village chowkidar, nineteen women were arrested in this connection, he said. Ten among those arrested have infant children.
The report alleged that earlier the women held a meeting and held the two responsible for some 'untoward happening' in their village.
Stating that the victims were branded as 'witch' and that the perpetrators would be punished under the law, the SP said it was unfortunate that even in the 21st century people were superstitious.
In a separate incident, Kishore Oraon, Sukar Oraon and Vinod Oraon were arrested on charges of killing a 58-year-old woman, Jamuna Devi, on similar suspicion of witchcraft, at Jolo village of the district last night, the SP said.