A man has been arrested by the Khunti police on charges of killing village headman and his wife on suspicion that they were involved in black magic on Monday, after the death of his buffalo a couple of days ago. The incident was reported under Murhu police station area of Khunti district. The accused allegedly hacked the couple to death late on Saturday night, while the incident had come to light on Sunday. The police said that the weapon of offence has been recovered.
According to the police, Khariya Munda, a resident of Rumatkel village in Murhu, had a buffalo, which died on July 15 following some illness. Munda came to suspect the involvement of village head, Panda Munda (45) and his wife, Anita Soy (40).
Late on Saturday night, Khariya barged into their house, armed with a bhujali (a sharp-edged weapon) and attacked Panda. He then hacked his wife and fled the spot. Their bodies were recovered on Sunday morning, said a police officer.
SDPO (Khunti) Ranbir Singh said that Khariya has been arrested. During initial interrogation, Khariya has confessed to having killed the couple. He has told us that he suspected them of being involved in black magic. As of now, this is the only reason why he killed the two. Further probe is on.
Killing or maiming people, mostly women, on suspicion of them being involved in witch-craft and black magic, has been a common phenomenon in tribal-dominated areas.