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Family buried alive in Guwahati for witchcraft

Villagers in Assam stoned four members of a family, including two women, and then buried them alive on suspicion of practising witchcraft.
By HT Correspondent | Reuters, Guwahati
UPDATED ON JUN 11, 2008 12:25 PM IST

Villagers in India's northeast stoned four members of a family, including two women, and then buried them alive on suspicion of practising witchcraft, police said on Wednesday.

Lakhan Majhi, 65, was summoned to the house of the village head for a public meeting on Tuesday evening at Koilajuli Milanpur village in Assam.

Hundreds of his neighbours accused him of casting evil spells on a villager who died after getting sick. Majhi had aroused suspicion by visiting the sick man to perform religious rituals, police said.

Villagers then pummelled Majhi, his wife, his son and his daughter-in-law with stones and bricks, dragged them into the nearby jungle and buried them alive, police said.

More than 500 people have been killed in the state in the past few years because their neighbours thought they were witches, police say.

Superstition thrives in pockets of rural India where there is little education, no electricity, no safe drinking water, no decent healthcare and rampant disease.

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