Saturday April 29 2006 15:09 IST
SANGAREDDY: Villagers of Annasagar in Andol mandal in Medak district have thrashed some dalits of the same village on the suspicion that they were practising ‘banamti’.
The villagers also tried to attack the policemen of Jogipet who rushed to the village to the rescue of the Dalits. Failing in that attempt, the villagers turned their ire on an autorickshaw by which the policemen reached the place and damaged it.
The incidents took place on yesterday, according to delayed reports reaching here.
The village has witnessed people falling sick frequently and three of them even die from some mysterious disease. Recently, a girl, Lingamani, has fallen down from a tree and lost her life.
These incidents made the villagers in general and the victims’ kin in particular to sit up and take stock of the situation. Unable to fathom the mystery behind the deaths, they arrived at the conclusion that all those incidents and deaths were the result of sorcery (banamati) being practised somebody in the village.
The people also made a resolution that the evil spirit haunting the village need be exorcised and decided to seek the services of a baba or sorcerer in that regard.
It was also decided that that an amount of Rs 300 should be collected from each house hold as contribution to the expenses to be incurred on the exercise.
Restrictions were placed on the movement of the villagers who were asked not to leave the village till the arrival of the baba.
Last night, two persons – Golla Anjaiah and Ramakrishnaiah – of Pulkal mandal were seen wandering near the bridge on the outskirts of Annasagar. The villagers caught hold of them and brought them to the village panchayat office where they were questioned about their motive to visit an alien village.
They replied that they had come at the instance of eight villagers of Annasagar who wanted them to do ‘banamati’. They dropped the names of Mogulayya, Cheviti Ramulu, Jangili Mallesam, Chakali Enkamma and eight others who assigned them the task.
On Friday, the enraged villagers summoned the people named by the duo to the village circle and thrashed them with sticks. Mogulayya was seriously injured in the head in the attack. Meanwhile, some others went to the house of Ramulu and beat up him, his wife and other relatives who included a pregnant woman and a girl.
On coming to know of the situation, two constables from Jogipet arrived in an autorickshaw and tried to calm the situation by asking people to retreat into their homes. Ignoring their plea, the villagers tried to attack the policemen in vain but succeeded in damaging the autorickshaw.
The Jogipet circle inspector, accompanied by sub-inspectors and other personnel, arrived on the scene and resorted to lathicharge to disperse the mob.
Mogulayya has been admitted to a hospital for treatment and cases have been registered against 10 persons.