Languages
Page last updated at 10:15 GMT, Monday, 28 April 2008 11:15 UK

Sons arrested for mother's death

By Jyotsna Singh
BBC News, Delhi

Rural woman
Such crimes normally occur in rural areas

Three men have appeared in court in Ghaziabad - a suburb of India's capital Delhi - in connection with the killing of their mother, police say.

The 55-year-old woman was allegedly beaten to death by her sons who thought she was possessed by an evil spirit.

Police are investigating the incident which has shocked residents.

Though similar incidents are sometimes reported from rural India, such a crime being allegedly committed by well-educated city people is rare.

'Knocking her head'

"A case has been filed under a law relating to culpable homicide not amounting to murder," Senior Superintendent of Police in Ghaziabad, Deepak Ratan, told the BBC.

He said four people, including three sons of the woman, were arrested on Sunday.

Mr Ratan said the sons were well educated - one has an engineering diploma while the other is studying business management. The third is a senior school student.

The sons said they started beating their mother in order to rid her of the evil spirit of a relative who died a few months ago, Mr Ratan said.

The incident took place during a family gathering when, according to eyewitnesses, the mother started behaving strangely, knocking her head against the wall in front of the guests.

Horrified

Police said they had reports that the woman was mentally unstable.

The incident has horrified the neighbours.

In remote rural India, sometimes women are branded as witches are killed, but what many find shocking is that such a crime has been allegedly committed by well-educated people so close to the capital Delhi.

Experts say a majority of mental illnesses, even in urban India, are passed off as a result of being possessed by evil spirits and the patients in most cases are never offered any treatment.

Reports suggest nearly 1% of India's over one billion population suffer from serious mental illnesses, while another 10% suffer from some degree of mental health problems.

Experts also point out that with only 3,500 trained psychiatrists available in the country there is an acute shortage of specialist help.




SEE ALSO
Indian villagers 'killed witch'
27 Mar 08 |  South Asia
'Witchcraft' families killed
23 Aug 06 |  South Asia
Indian 'witchcraft' family killed
19 Mar 06 |  South Asia
Three 'witches' kill themselves
24 Oct 03 |  South Asia
Indian mob burns 'witches'
03 Jul 03 |  South Asia
Indian police tackle sorcery
26 Jun 02 |  South Asia


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific