Witch hunting claims three in Assam

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Tezpur, Oct 18 (UNI) Three members of a family, including a minor, were killed in a case of witch hunting in Assam's Sonitpur district early this morning.

One Ghasi Santhal, his wife Kiron and ten-year-old son Billu were killed when they were attacked with sharp weapons at their home in Adabari tea estate near Balipara at about 0500 hours.

Another son and two daughters of the couple managed to escape as they were alarmed at the noise and tried to retaliate against the attackers.

The surviving son, Deepak, identified two of the attackers as Umesh Gogoi and Shyam Rajak. Police have registered a case against the absconding duo.

The family was blamed for the death of a family member of Umesh, which was allegedly caused by the black magic spells cast by the Santhal family.

Witch hunting is a major concern in the state, with the practice of stoning or burning alive at the stake a recurrent menace especially in tribal and adivasi belts.

The civil as well as police administration, besides NGOs, have launched sustained campaigns to eradicate the evil, but it has not been completely successful.

UNI XC-SG DPM DB1907

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