The Meghalaya Police has arrested 25 people from a village in East Khasi Hills district for allegedly killing a youth on Sunday over fears that he was a practicioner of witchcraft. A senior police official said the incident had no link with last week’s ethnic violence in the state, which left three dead and several wounded.
Macmilan Kharshandi, in his 20s, was part of a group of nine which had gone to a picnic in Syntung, a tourist spot. While returning, the group got into a confrontation with villagers near Passang, who assumed they were menshohnoh — practitioners of witchcraft and black magic, the senior officer told The Indian Express.
A police statement did not cite a reason for the confrontation while a senior district administration official said the incident needed to be probed further.
Three people were injured in the attack and six escaped to a nearby forest. The police rescued the six from the jungle as well as the injured, but Kharshandi died on the way to the civil hospital in Shillong. On Monday evening, police raided the village where the attack occurred and arrested 27 people. Two were released on account of being “a minor and a senior citizen”.
“A case has been registered and all efforts are being made to nab other culprits,” the police statement added.
Meghalaya Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui has condemned the incident and assured justice.
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