Some stick-wielding villagers on Saturday, killed four members of a tribal family including two women accused of witchcraft in Gumla, a densely forested tribal-dominated region some 100 kilometres from India’s regional capital Ranchi.
Though the senior-most district official said no one has been arrested so far, it was gathered that the murder victims were all in their 60s.
“It is linked to some local occult practitioner(s) who blamed some negative development in the tribal village to the members of this family,” Shashi Ranjan, deputy commissioner of Jharkhand state’s Gumla district, told AFP.
“Additional forces have been at the Siskari village since authorities found out about the incident,” he added.
“It is peaceful but no one, not even survivors from the family, are saying anything, probably out of fear.”
Commenting on the sad incident, analysts revealed that women have often been branded witches and targeted by locals in the past. Belief in witchcraft and the occult remains widespread in impoverished rural communities across India, especially in isolated tribal communities.