In total, 18 people have been arrested in connection with the lynching case in Assam's Karbi Anglong.
Police have arrested nine more persons in connection with the lynching of a 50-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man over suspected witchcraft at Rohimapur, a remote village under Dokmoka police station in Karbi Anglong recently. So far, 18 persons, including a tantric (occult practitioner) who was on the run, have been arrested by police in the case. Nine people were arrested in the case earlier.
Ramawati Halua and Bijoy Gaur were on Wednesday night beaten to death by sticks and sharp weapons by some residents of the village, which according to police sources, is inhabited by about 20 families from the Adivasi community.
Reportedly, the heinous crime was committed after a kangaroo court decided that the woman practiced witchcraft and brought “misfortune” to the village, “with people dying and falling sick.” The villagers first attacked the woman and thereafter beat up the man for intervening and trying to stop them from committing the crime.
Confirming the development, Karbi Anglong superintendent of police, Debojit Deori informed on Monday that nine more persons who were on the run were caught after a search was launched to arrest them.
“All of them have confessed to having been involved with the double murder. We are now trying to reconstruct the entire incident,” Deori said.
Reportedly, three among the 18 arrested are women. One of the accused confessed to have beheaded the woman with a machete (dao). He also said that another person had beheaded Gaur.
The bodies were reported to have been burnt in a nearby area after the attackers offered rituals to the local deity. The Assam Assembly was informed by the government last year that 161 people have been killed in the state in cases of witch-hunting in the past 18 years.