AGARTALA: An elderly tribal woman was hacked to death and two were injured in the northeastern state of Tripura Friday in a suspected case of public reaction to alleged black magic and witchcraft, police said Saturday.
In a similar incident, a 45-year-old tribal woman was burnt alive by villagers in northeastern Assam's Sivasagar district Friday. "Acting on prior information, a contingent of police led by subdivisional police officer Debjan Chakma recovered the body of one Dharmasree Tripura, 60, from a jungle at Sabroom in southern Tripura late Friday night," an official told reporters here Saturday. Police also found two seriously injured tribals, including a woman, at the area, and shifted them to a government hospital.
Twelve people have been arrested. Police Saturday presented the accused before a local court, which sent them in custody for two weeks. The detainees have confessed to have called Dharmasree, the victim, and two others to treat a patient through black magic. "We hit the three people by some crude objects after the patient was not recovering from her ailments. We also tried to bury the slain Dharmasree, but failed as the police caught us," one of the detainee said.
According to the people of the village, the killing was driven by superstitious beliefs. Black magic, witchcraft and superstitious beliefs have been part of the tribal customs in parts of Assam, Tripura and other northeastern states. Many tribal communities practice indigenous faiths and resort to such rituals in treating ailments of their communities.
Many people, mostly women, have been killed every year in the northeastern states for allegedly practising sorcery and witchcraft, mostly in tribal-dominated areas of western and northern Assam.