A middle-aged woman was beaten to death by her neighbours after they suspected her to be a witch at Baliapara village of Raiganj in North Dinajpur, police said.
Police have arrested six persons in this connection so far. Police came to know that one of the accused, Rabi Hembram who has already been arrested had instigated the whole incident. The victim has been identified as Tala Murdi (50).
She was a resident of Baliapara village. The police have started a detailed probe and are interrogating the accused. They are conducting a raid to nab the other culprits who were involved in the incident.
Sources said that 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 because a witch is present at the village.
After this, the victim had gone to see another woman of the village who was suffering from a disease. In the meantime, the section of villagers had claimed that the victim was a witch. They even chased her relatives when they had protested against their claims.
As a person died, some local people started to propagate the view that Murdi is a witch and this was the reason behind the death of the woman.
Following the incident, the accused pounced on her and started beating up the woman. Police said that she was hit with a bamboo stick and a spade.
She received severe injuries on her body. Police later rushed to the spot after being informed by some local people. She was announced brought dead after being taken to a nearby hospital by the police. The incident had triggered tension in the area.
A team led by senior police officers from the district went to the spot and arrested six persons in this connection. A relative of the victim identified the accused who were involved in the incident.