Keonjhar: In a superstition-related crime, an old woman was allegedly poisoned by her sister-in-law and nephew at Haradabahara village under Ramachandrapur police limits of Anandapur in Keonjhar district, on Monday.
The deceased was identified as Phula Majhi.
According to sources, Phula’s nephew Rabindra was childless. Rabindra’s family members suspected her of practising sorcerer and blamed her for his wife not being able to conceive.
Rabindra’s father Narayan Majhi and Phula’s husband Kamalakanta Majhi earlier had a bitter argument over the issue.
On Monday morning, Kamalakanta and his two sons had gone to the farm land. Finding Phula alone at home, Rabindra and his mother Heera Majhi forced her to consume poison.
Phula was rushed to the hospital in a critical condition and she latter died during treatment.
Family members of the deceased have lodged a complaint in the police station. However, no one has been arrested in this connection till reports last came in.
The tribals-inhabited pockets of Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur and Keonjhar are the worst hit by witchcraft violence with these districts accounting for 70 per cent of such cases being registered in 2017.
On first week of August, a woman was beaten to death in Joda police station area on witchcraft suspicion.
A man was hacked to death over similar suspicion at Pindhapokhari village under Joda block of Keonjhar district.
Four persons have been arrested in this connection. Those arrested were identified as Tutu Munda, Sendha Munda, Misra Munda and Durga Munda.
The accused had allegedly beat Sudam Munda to death suspecting him of practising sorcery.
According to sources, mother of Tutu had died due to some ailments. However, Tutu held Sudam, whom he accused of practising sorcery in the village, responsible for her death.
He along with four to five fellow villagers went to Sudam’s house and beat him up severely with a stick, killing him on the spot. They later dumped the body in a nearby nullah.
On receiving information about the incident, police reached the village and recovered the body.
Based on the statements of the villagers, the cops arrested Tutu and three others for their alleged involvement in the crime.