Villagers kill woman, injure 4 others in WITCH HUNT lynching in India
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After several people fell ill in West Bengal, locals found no better explanation than witchcraft, leading to a mob lynching that killed one woman and left four others injured. Police had to call in backup to rescue the survivors.
An angry mob dragged five women before a kangaroo court in the village of Ishwarpur in West Midnapore district, where they were all accused of practicing black magic to cause the illnesses, the Hindustan Times reports.
The gathering, convened by a self-proclaimed “witch doctor,” apparently spiraled into sickening mob punishment. While details are scant, 51-year-old Adarmani Hansda was killed and four other women severely injured.
Police were initially prevented from accessing the scene of the lynching as villagers blocked them from entering. A larger force was called to intervene. They found the victim’s body and four injured women, who were all brought to hospital in the nearby city of Ghatal, police superintendent Alok Rajoria said.
While the media has identified the “healer” and lynch-law instigator as Shyamali Mandi, no arrests were made immediately after the incident. According to Rajoria, “an investigation is on.”
Witch hunts are not uncommon in rural areas of India where belief in witchcraft and the occult remains widespread. The gruesome practice usually comes in wake of an unexplained illness or tragedy. In 2015, villagers in a rural area of eastern Jharkhand state beat five women to death after accusing them of killing a young boy with black magic.
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