Old woman killed for ‘sorcery’ (India)

Deccan Chronicle, July 11

A mob dubbed a 55-year-old woman as a sorceress, stripped her and burnt her alive on Saturday night, adding one more name to the growing list of victims of so-called ‘sorcery murders’ in Telangana, particularly in Medak and Nalgonda districts.

The villagers beat up and stripped Bakki Lachchavva and tied her to a motor pump with her sari, doused her with kerosene and set her afire in Bhoompally village in Medak district. The police reached the spot half-an-hour after the incident and took 19 persons including five women into custody. The key accused, Bakki Narasimhulu and Ba-kki Ramaswamy, confessed that they had torched her. The Dubbaka police inspector, Mr M. Venkata Ramaiah, said that Narasi-mhulu’s two-day-old son had died on July 6 due to ill-health. Narasimhulu went to a godman in Nizamabad who told him that the baby had died due to the witchcraft of his neighbour and relative. Narasimhulu began suspecting Lachchavva. On July 9, Narasimhulu picked up an argument with Lachchavva’s son Venkati who was watering the fields. Hearing this, Lachchavva and her husband Mallaiah went to the spot, the inspector said. Narasimhulu and a few others accused her of sorcery and beat her up, even as Venkati tried to stop them. “They tied her to the motor pump with her sari and poured kerosene and lit her,” he said. Bhoompally police recovered the charred remains of Lachchavva. Police chased the fleeing mob and arrested 19 persons. This is the second such incident in 20 days. On June 22, Nalgonda police arrested 62 persons in Khaitapur village for the ‘sorcery murder’ of two old men.

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