Jamshedpur, Nov. 1: Four members of a family, including a 72-year-old woman, were hacked to death by the villagers at Dalbhanga village in Kuchai police station area in adjoining Seraikela-Kharsawan district in the wee hours of Sunday.
The assailants attacked the victims when they were in deep slumber, suspecting one of them to be a witch after a one-year-old male child died of some unkno-wn disease last afternoon.
According to the police, those killed were identified as Jakorani Mundain (72), daughter Soro Mundain (55), sons Ghasia Munda (50) and Hagal Munda (45), all residents of Dalbhanga village. Sources informed that Jakorani’s eldest son, Ram Singh Munda was lucky and survived the attack as he used to stay separately in another house at the village at the time the assailants had attacked the victims’ house.
The assailants identified as Raisingh Munda (30) and Shyamlal Munda (30), both cousins, were arrested with the axes that they had used in the murder. As the news spread, Superintende-nt of police, Seraikela-Kh-arsawan district Indrajeet Mahatha rushed to Dalbha-nga getting the information about the massacre.
Mahatha said that the incident is being investigated. As per the initial probe they have come to know that assailants who were neighbours had informed the village chowkidar about the massacre themselves soon after committing the murders.
“The village chowkidar informed the police, leading a police party to reach Dalbhanga village and took both the assailants under custody.
The reaction started when, Shyamlal’s one-year-old son died of some unknown disease, giving rise to a suspicion in the mind of the accused that his son had fallen victim of the witch-craft. The same night both Shyamlal Raisingh hatched a plan to kill 72-year-old Jakorani Mundain as she was suspected witch and killed all the four members of the family,” said Mahatha.
More than 1,000 women have been killed over the years in Jharkhand on suspicion of practising witchcraft.