Jharkhand woman set on fire over witchcraft suspicion

Six people have been arrested, police said.
Jharkhand woman set on fire over witchcraft suspicion
Jharkhand woman set on fire over witchcraft suspicion
Updated on Jan 14, 2022 01:15 AM IST
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Close on heels of a lynching incident in Jharkhand’s Simdega district, a 60-year-old tribal woman was thrashed and set on fire by a few villagers on suspicion of practicing witchcraft on Wednesday night, police said on Thursday.

Six people have been arrested, they added.

The incident took place in Kurpaani village, under Tethaitangar police station limits, when Jhario Devi and her husband visited the house of one Florence Dungung to attend the funeral service of the latter’s wife, police said.

“Florence reportedly accused the woman of practicing witchcraft and held her responsible for his wife’s death. He, and few others present there, thrashed her and then set her on fire after pouring kerosene on her. On hearing her scream, other villagers present in the neighbourhood rushed to the house and rescued her,” an official at Tethaitangar police station said.

The woman sustained around 30 per cent burn injuries and was referred from Simdega district hospital to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi.

“The incident took place between 9 pm and 10 pm on Wednesday. On getting information, police rushed to the spot but by then, her relatives and other villagers had already taken her to Simdega sadar hospital. Doctors said the woman suffered around 30 percent burns. She has been referred to RIMS for better treatment,” Simdega superintendent of police (SP) Shams Tabrez said.

Based on a complaint by the woman and her son, six people were arrested in this regard, the SP added.

The incident came days after a Dalit man was beaten to death and set on fire by villagers, under Kolebira police station limits, for allegedly felling trees. Nine of the 13 named accused in the case have been arrested so far.

In view of rising cases of mob attacks in the state, the Jharkhand government on December 21 cleared the Prevention of Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021 that provides for jail terms ranging from three years to life imprisonment and fines of up to 25 lakh against those involved in mob lynching leading to “injury or death” of an individual. The law, however, is yet to be notified.

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Sunday, January 16, 2022