Two women were lynched to death following allegations of practicing witchcraft and their bodies were thrown into a swollen Sone River in Badepur village of Palamu district in Jharkahnd on Sunday morning. The Hussainabad police said that the search for their bodies have proved futile.
The police said that the two deaths for which the women were held responsible had taken place in Bengaluru over a period of more than a month.
An FIR has been registered against 34 persons by name and 100 persons as unidentified. The police said that the mob resorted to violence and caused death of the two women after holding a meeting in the village on Sunday morning.
According to the police, they got information about the suspected murders in the afternoon when some people began talking about the murders. The two women have been identified as Basanti Devi (40), wife of Bal Mukund, and Munwa Devi (35), wife of Vijay Rajvanshi.
The incident occurred in Sahiyara tola of Badepur village. The police said that one Ram Pravesh, a resident of Sahiyara tola, had lost his son about a month ago. His son had gone to Bengaluru to take up some odd jobs. Three days ago, Ram Pravesh’s son-in-law, who too was in Bengaluru, died due to some reason. He and another associate began suspecting the two women of practicing witchcraft, said Sub-Divisional Police Officer (Hussainabad), Manoj Kumar.
Kumar added that, to deal with the problem the villagers called a meeting on Sunday. “As per our information, the meeting began around 6 am. Apparently, things were going on peacefully, when a group began raising the cries for teaching the women a lesson. Soon, they went to their houses and dragged the two of them out and beat them,” said Kumar.
“We have been trying since Sunday afternoon. We are still trying. The possibility of recovering bodies is remote because there is too much water and the current is very strong,” said Kumar.