One Lynched, Four Injured in India on Suspicions of Being Witches - Report

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There have been instances in the past where women in the same region were arbitrarily accused of practicing "black" magic.

New Delhi (Sputnik): A 51-year-old woman was lynched on Sunday on suspicion of being a "witch" at Midnapore district in the Indian state of West Bengal, the Hindustan Times reported. The woman Adarmani Hansda was tried by an unauthorised impromptu court in a village along with four other women. The "court" was convened because there were people falling ill allegedly on account of "black magic" spells by Hansda and the other accused.

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The other four women branded as witches were rescued by the police. They suffered serious injuries and have been admitted to a hospital.

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The report quoted superintendent of police Alok Rajoria as saying, "After hearing about the incident, a police team went to the village and rescued the four injured women. They are admitted in Ghatal hospital. We have recovered the body of the tribal woman. An investigation is on".

The woman, Shyamali Mandi, at whose behest the illegal impromptu court was convened, was herself a self-proclaimed "witch doctor" the media report read.

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The police were initially stopped from entering the village and had to resort to additional backup forces to barge into the location and rescue the four women.

No arrests have been made so far, the media report read. Witch hunting and lynching have occurred in the area in the past. A woman was lynched in 2012 in Daspur and another one was killed in November 2018 in Kashipur in the Purulia district of the same state.

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