Ranchi: Two women, two men all in their 60s, were mercilessly hacked to death by the angry mob who dragged them out of their houses, suspecting them of ‘witchcraft’.
The incident is reported from Jharkhand’s Gumla district that occurred on Sunday, HT reports.
The villages used sharp weapons, sticks to assault the people said the police.
Gumla police superintendent Anjani Kumar Jha said Suna Oraon, 65, Phagni Devi, 60, Chapa Bhagat, 65, and his wife, Piri Devi, 62 were killed over suspected witchcraft by the villagers.
“During interrogation, villagers and family members of the slain said that all four elderly persons were involved in occultism. Besides, the evidence we collected from the place of the occurrence also indicates it is a case of witchcraft,” said Jha.
The officer said that the police were informed about the incident over an hour after the killings took place.
“We received information about the incident at around 4.30am. A team immediately rushed to the spot,” Jha said.
None of the villagers were willing to identify the perpetrators of the crime said Jha adding that the probe into the killings have been initiated.
No arrests have been made so far but four persons were detained.
According to sources, Bhagat and his wife sold potatoes in a local market while Oraon was a farmer and Devi a homemaker and the deceased were accused of involved in occultism.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, as many as 523 women have been killed in Jharkhand between 2001 and 2016 over witchcraft suspicions.
The Witchcraft and Prevention Act which came into effect since 2001 is ineffective in the state said the Association for Social and Human Awareness secretary Ajay Kumar Jaiswal.
“The law needs an amendment with strict provisions of punishments,” Jaiswal added.