Karbi Woman Found Dead After Alleged Witch Attack

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Conflicting reports from an interior West Karbi Anglong village claim that a 48-year-old woman was killed by unidentified assailants last Wednesday. The assailants said she was a witch.

The woman’s body was retrieved by police from a ditch running down a hillock within the courtyard of the victim’s home.

According to Hamren police, the incident took place in Dhuidi Kro village located within the general area of Bhoksong in Hamren subdivision. The victim was acknowledged as Kave Ronghangpi. Her body was found with hands and legs tied with her neck half buried. Seeing the semi decayed body, some of the victim’s relatives reported the matter to Dalimbari police station on Saturday.

When officers and staff of Dalimbari police station reached the place of the incident, they were vigorously opposed by the villagers from exhuming the dead body for legal proceedings. The villagers claimed that the deceased was a witch and unknown individuals have taken her away.

The matter was reported to Superintendent of Police Hamren Police District Bebojit Deori who arrived at the village along with Additional SP Ankur Jain, Circle Inspector Mukul Saikia and Officer In charge of nearby Baithalangso Police Station G. Nath.

Later, backed by a large contingent of police and paramilitary force, the surrounding wooded areas were combed thoroughly by police until the body was found partially buried in a shallow grave close to her residence.

Police picked up several villagers for questioning and the body has been sent to Diphu for an autopsy. Under all probability this the first known case of witch hunting within Karbi society as claimed by several organization and individuals.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.