//5 killed for `practising' witchcraft

5 killed for `practising' witchcraft

Sushanta Talukdar, The Hindu, Tuesday, Aug 22, 2006

Guwahati: Five persons — three Bodos and two adivasis were hacked to death by their fellow villagers in two remote forest villages of lower Assam's Kokrajhar district on Sunday night on suspicion of practising witchcraft.

Kokrajhar District Superintendent Police Hiren Nath told The Hindu that a Bodo couple and their 15-year old daughter were hacked to death in Nandipur forest village under Kachugaon police station when they were having supper.

In another incident, which occurred in Bijoynagar village, five km away, an adivasi couple were hacked to death by villagers the same night suspecting them to be witches.

The death toll, on account of superstition over witchcraft prevailing among a large section of people in Bodoland Territorial Council areas, has gone up to 11.

Earlier in the month six persons had been killed on suspicion of practising witchcraft.

The common belief prevailing among the villagers against these victims of superstition is that outbreak of various diseases in the villages claiming human lives and even natural calamities such as draught or crop damage were result of witchcraft being practised by the victims.