Accused of “practising witchcraft”, a 33-year-old woman and her husband were brutally thrashed in Devgadhbaria taluka of Dahod district, police said. The accused are on the run.
The incident took place in Simlaghasi Kheda village on Saturday night. According to the complaint filed by the victim, Ramila Patel (33), her neighbours – Gajabhai Baria, his wife Rachli Baria and Mukheshbhai Baria – barged into her house Saturday night and assaulted her. When her husband, Ramesh Patel tried to intervene, they thrashed him too with wooden sticks and iron rods.
When the woman raised an alarm, other villagers came in and saved Ramesh. The accused allegedly warned her to “stop practising witchcraft” or get killed.
The couple was rushed to the nearby hospital where they are undergoing treatment. While Ramila’s condition is reportedly stable, Ramesh is still under observation.
In her complaint, Ramila alleged that for the last five days, the accused have been accusing her of practising witchcraft. They also allegedly held her responsible for Rachli’s poor health condition.
All the accused have been booked under IPC sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt.), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (2) (punishment for criminal intimidation), 114 (abettor present).
“Both the husband and the wife were attacked and injured. The accused have managed to flee but we are tracking them down. We are recording statements of the villagers and other neighbours as well and trying to investigate the witchcraft angle,” said police sub-inspector, Arun Puwar, Sagtala police station.