DEOGARH:A 14-year-old ‘spirit-induced’ girl’s accusation triggered the stripping and savaging of a woman in Derapathar village of Deogarh district, police said on Friday.
Believing her to be a ‘witch’, villagers dragged the 33-year-old woman to the village square, stripped her in public and demanded that she confess to her black magic practices. Under duress, she did so whereupon she was brutally attacked.
The incident took place two days back and came to light on Friday after the woman lodged a written complaint with the police seeking legal action against the accused.
It all began when a teenaged girl from the village claimed to have been ‘possessed’ by spirit of the village deity during Jhamu Yatra, and accused the woman and another person of the same village of practicing sorcery near a tree and causing trouble to her family. Claiming to be under a spell, she picked up a dana (cup made of Sal leaves) kept near the tree and moved towards the house of the woman.
At the woman’s doorstep, the minor girl challenged her to come out and proceeded to beat her with a stick after accusing her of being responsible for many deaths in the village. As per the woman’s complaint, the girl’s father Niranjan Dehury and fellow villagers dragged her out, molested her and beat her up mercilessly as neighbours watched.
Police have registered a case.