Couple hacked to death in Aurangabad for ‘practising witchcraft’, 3 held

Three accused persons were arrested for murdering an elderly couple on Wednesday for allegedly practising witchcraft at a remote village under Madanpur police station area in Maoist-hit Aurangabad district, police said
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Published on Jun 30, 2021 10:15 PM IST
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ByAvinash Kumar, Patna

Three accused persons were arrested for murdering an elderly couple on Wednesday for allegedly practising witchcraft at a remote village under Madanpur police station area in Maoist-hit Aurangabad district, police said.

Police lodged a case in this connection against ten named accused under relevant sections of IPC as well as Section 3 and 4 of Prevention of Witch (DAAIN) Practices Act.

According to the police, the couple was killed in the wee hours of Wednesday on the suspicion of practising “black magic”, that was allegedly leading to diseases among neighbours.

”The couple was blamed by one of their neighbours for a medical condition that he and his wife were suffering from and for the death of their 30-year-old son in January this year,” said SDPO Anup Kumar.

According to the couple’s son, his mother was on way to a field early in the morning when more than ten named accused intercepted her and hacked to death. Later, they forcibly entered their house and attacked his physically challenged father by sharp weapons when he was sleeping.

Police suspect the neighbour to have committed the crime. “We have arrested three people in this connection and the hunt is on for rest of the accused,” said the SDPO.

The bodies were sent for postmortem examination , he added.

Meanwhile, police is taking all possible precautions in probing the case since the area is Maoist-infested, officials said.

The practice of branding women as witches and torturing them continues unabated in remote rural areas of Bihar. In the last two years, more than 350 women have been tortured and beaten on suspicion of practising witchcraft, according to police records.

Concerned about the rising number of witchcraft-related killings, state officials said an awareness campaign will soon be started in the district. In 2012, the Bihar Human Rights Commission directed the state to expedite investigations and trials in cases related to offences under Prevention of Witch Hunting Act, 1999.

Recent cases

June 22: A 72-year-old woman beaten to death in Gaya’s Barachatti police station area on suspicion of sorcery

May 22: Four women beat to death a 35-year-old woman over suspicions of practising witchcraft in Gaya

May 25: Two minors from Jamui’s Simultala police station area allegedly branded as witches, their hair chopped off and were allegedly stripped in a village over suspicion of practising black magic

January 3, 2021: An elderly man and his son killed their 61-year-old relative for allegedly practising witchcraft in Jamui district

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