Shillong, Sep 17 (UNI) Altogether eight women were today arrested at the Meghalaya secretariat compound here for violating prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC.
Police said the women were arrested while they were proceeding towards the Chief Minister's Office to demand unconditional release of five persons allegedly involved in an arson case at Mawbsein village in Ri-Bhoi district.
An irate mob had gone on a rampage a month ago and torched five houses and two vehicles of a person who allegedly practised witchcraft at Mawbsein village.
Police had to resort to blank firing to disperse the mob.
The crowd, infuriated over the ''menshohnoh'' (person who sacrifices human beings for gaining wealth) Dhon Nongkynrih for not obeying an order from the local ''dorbar'' to leave the village within two days, even attacked the police personnel.
According to ancient Khasi belief, the deity of wealth, known as ''Thlen'' (python), used to ask his worshippers to feed him human blood in order to be rich and prosperous. The superstitious belief, still persists in the minds of some rural people of Khasi and Jaintia Hills.
Meanwhile, the arrested were taken to Umiam police station to investgate whether any of them were directly or indirectly involved in the arson.