India: Mob beheads woman over 'witchcraft'

2015-07-21 10:11

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New Delhi - An elderly Indian woman was tortured and beheaded by a mob of villagers who accused her of practising witchcraft, police said on Tuesday.

Poni Orang, 63, was attacked in the north-eastern state of Assam on Monday after a group of 150 villagers descended on her home.

"She was taken to a nearby stream where she was almost stripped naked and attacked with sharp weapons," regional police chief Manabendra Rai said.

Seven people, including two women, were arrested in connection with the killing of Orang, a mother of five children, Rai said.

"The villagers accused her of being a witch and alleged that it was due to her that many people in the village were falling ill," he told dpa over the phone.

"A local woman claiming to be a goddess had instigated the mob, saying Orang was bringing bad luck to the village," he added.

India has no specific law against witch hunting, and incidents of torture and murders of women branded as witches are reported regularly from around the country.

At least 2 100 people, mostly women, were murdered between 2000 and 2012 for allegedly practising witchcraft, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

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