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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 July, 2003, 09:23 GMT 10:23 UK
Indian mob burns 'witches'
Two women accused of witchcraft have been burned to death by a mob in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand, police officials have said.

The incident took place in Godda, a tribal-dominated region about 300 kilometres (190 miles) north of the state capital, Ranchi.

According to police, the mob dragged Bahamay Kisku, 35, and Nanka Hembrom, 50, into a field where they were covered in hay and paraffin and set on fire.

The two women were accused of making another villager, Anant Hansda, sick, the AFP news agency reports.

Rights campaign

Many tribal areas in eastern and central India believe black magic can cure illnesses or put spells on enemies.

The killing of women suspected of being witches is not uncommon.

Rights groups have launched a campaign against attacks on women in remote villages.

The groups say local priests, tribal chiefs or greedy relatives declare widows or divorcees witches so they can take control of their property.

In most cases, reports are not made to the police.

When they are, authorities in the tribal-dominated areas have been accused of ignoring them.


SEE ALSO:
Bengal tribesmen kill 'witches'
01 Aug 02  |  South Asia
Indian police tackle sorcery
26 Jun 02  |  South Asia


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