A 21-year-old boy was arrested by the Chhota Udepur police Wednesday for beheading a woman in Gujiya faliya of Bhorgha village 30 km from Chhota Udepur. The victim, Reshli Rathwa (50) was beheaded on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday while she was sleeping in her room. The next morning when her son Jaisinh went to her room to wake her up, he found his mother’s decapitated body lying on the bed.
An FIR was later filed against two unidentified people based on the statement of Reshli’s eight-year-old niece, Sunita who was sleeping in the same room. The unidentified people were booked under IPC sections 302 (Murder), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence), 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), 452 (House-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint.), 506 (2) ( criminal intimidation), 114 (Abettor present when offence is committed).
According to Sunita’s statement, she found two men with sharp weapons in the room when she woke up, who had entered the room through the ventilation window. But the two threatened her and asked her to go back to sleep. According to the police, the accused chopped of Reshli’s head and took it away with them and buried it near a river. They even injured her fingers and toes with the sharp weapon.
To identify the accused, the police took help of the dog squad that helped the police narrow down on a certain neighbourhood in the village. On further investigation, the police learned that one of the villagers residing in the radius, Malsinh Rathwa’s wife had passed away 15 days ago under unknown circumstances and the family had believed the death to be because of a witch’s influence. The police then learnt that Malsinh’s son Chhagan had been absconding from the village from the same night as of Reshli’s murder.
According to sources, the accused Chhagan Rathwa’s mother had passed away 15 days ago. She had gone to the fields nearby to graze her cattle, the same field where even Reshli took her cattle for grazing. His mother came back and as per her routine had food, took rest but towards the evening she started vomiting and died the same night. The family did not know the reason behind her death as she was not facing any major health issue. The family however suspected that it was due to the influence of a witch.
“We had detained Chhagan based on suspicion and he has confessed to killing Reshli though he has not told us the exact reason behind committing the crime. His accomplice Kamlesh Rathwa is still on the run but we have formed teams to nab him. We have been granted two days remand for Chagan and we are investigating the matter further,” said police sub-inspector, Himanshu Gamit.