A man mistook a woman to be a ghost and beat her to death in Nansol village in East Singhbhum district, police said.
The woman, Jodha Singh (45), died of head injuries after Ahaliya Singh (47) hit her with a stick. He admitted to his crime and was arrested.
Police said villagers saw Ahaliya sitting near the body and crying. “He gave himself up to villagers and accepted that he hit Jodha with a thick stick several times mistaking her for a ghost. He was arrested immediately and the stick was recovered from the spot,” said Birendra Toppo, in-charge of Nansol police station, around 145km south of Ranchi.
Ahaliya told police that he knew Jodha who belonged to nearby Khokro village where his in-laws stayed. “I was walking home through a lonely and dark area. Jodha called me from behind. I throught a ghost had called out. I took a thick branch lying on the ground and hit her,” he told police. Jodha had come to Nansol to visit her widowed sister-in-law.
Toppo said, “Ahaliya said Jodha fell to the ground in the first blow. He repeatedly hit her fracturing her head. She died on the spot form bleeding.” Ahaliya said he realised his mistake when he switched on his torchlight.
On September 8 last year, villagers at Namkom in Ranchi district had thrashed a mentally ill youth after mistaking for a ghost.