A middle-aged woman was beaten to death by her neighbours after they suspected her a witch at Birsinghapur village near Debra in West Midnapore, plice said.
It may be mentioned that the incident took place a day after the Ghatal Court had sentenced seven people to death on charges of lynching three women suspecting them to be witches in 2012.
Sources said that the victim Sundari Tudu was a resident of Birsinghapur village. For the past few days some of the villagers had been suffering from an unknown disease and a section of the villagers had started saying that the disease was spreading as a witch is present at the village.
In the meantime, the section of villagers had considered Sundari, wife of Seri Tudu, as a witch. They even chased Seri to beat him up when he had protested against their claims. He had protested saying that it was a conspiracy to kill his wife.
A kangaroo court was called on Monday night where Sundari was once again has been pointed out as a witch. The situation turned worse when her husband had raised his voice and some of the villagers had started beating up his wife. He was also beaten up when he tried to rescue his wife. Sources said that they had tied up Seri with a tree and continued beating up his wife till she fell unconscious.
Seri was, however, released after his wife was lying unconscious in a pool of blood. He ran to the police. Policemen from the local police station rushed to the spot and took her to hospital where she was declared brought dead. The victim’s body was sent for an autopsy.
A team led by senior police officers from the district went to the spot and nine people were detained in this connection. The victim’s husband had identified the people, among the detained ones, those had lynched his wife.
Police pickets were posted at the spot and the district administration has taking steps to create awareness among the villagers to help them get rid of these superstitions. They have also asked the local people to inform the police immediately if they come to know about any kangaroo court or if anyone is trying to make people believe that a particular person is a witch. Policemen will reach the spot immediately and would arrest the person for such crime.