In another case of witch hunting, a 55-year-old woman was beaten to death in a village by two of her neighbours for allegedly practising black magic, a senior police official said on Thursday.
The woman was allegedly beaten mercilessly till she died on Wednesday evening. Her husband who rushed to the spot to save her was driven away by the attackers, senior police officer Chandra Shekhar Azad said.
The half naked body of the woman was spotted some distance away from Mangad village on Thursday morning and the villagers informed the police immediately, the official said.
Police rushed to the spot and arrested both the accused, who had dumped the body in a bush a distance away.
The woman was attacked and assaulted following a complaint by the wife of one of the neighbours that she felt unwell ever since the woman visited their house and held her wrist on Wednesday evening, locals said.
The victim's husband told the police that she had been accused of being a witch and had been harassed by villagers. A gram sabha was also held in the past against her.
Mr Azad said prima facie that the incident seemed to be a fall out of an old personal enmity.
Police said it is unable to confirm the witchcraft angle to the killing before the conclusion of its investigation into the case.
The National Crime Record Bureau data for 2019 revealed that Jharkhand was ranked third in witch hunting cases and recorded 15 murders related to the crime. Chhattisgarh with 22 murders was on top of the list.
Killing in the name of witch-hunting keep increasing despite taking up awareness campaigns, strict action against the culprits and an existing rule to curb the menace.
Jharkhand has adopted the Prevention of Witch (Daain) Practices Act, 2001, to stop such incidents.