Crime Disaster INSIGHT National

Tribal couple suspected of practicing witchcraft lynched in Bengal

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Kolkata, March 26 (IANS) In a shocking incident, a tribal couple was lynched by local people on suspicion of practicing witchcraft in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, police said.

The incident took place in the Ahmedpur area under Sainthia Police Station in Birbhum district. The deceased persons have been identified as Pandu Hembram (62) and his wife Parvati Hembram (52).

Local police sources said that they were severely beaten up by the locals late Friday night, following which they were admitted at the local Bolpur Sub-Divisional Hospital under extremely critical condition. Both died early Sunday morning.

The headman of the village, Rubai Besra has been arrested in this connection. He is being suspected of instigating the local people against the deceased couple for quite some time. Tension is still prevailing in the area. The police and district administration are keeping a close watch on the situation prevailing there.

Questions have been raised over the reluctance of the district administration in conducting regular awareness campaigns in the area against deadly superstitions where innocent people are first branded as practicing witchcraft, following which they are either humiliated or assaulted or even killed as happened in this case.