BARIPADA: POLICE on Monday arrested seven persons for assaulting six women and a tantrik in full public glare over sorcery suspicion at Madhupur village in Mayurbhanj district. Badasahi police made the arrests on the basis of the complaint lodged by Radhamani, wife of the victim tantrik Siba Singh. Though Radhamani had lodged a complaint in this regard on October 23, the police registered a case on November 3. The arrested have been identified as Raja Singh, Jethia Singh, Maguni Singh, Jagina Singh, Budhiram Singh, Samanath Singh and Baidyanath Singh, all residents of Madhupur under Badasahi police limits.
Though the incident took place on October 22, it came to light on Sunday after a video of the women being tied to a tree and beaten up went viral on social media. Police also rushed to the village after the matter came to light and convinced villagers against witch hunting. As per reports, Siba Singh was accused of practising black magic on some persons at a meeting of the villagers. The villagers charged the tantrik of having a hand in the death of three persons and a child Budhiram Singh of Madhupur. Later, the accused dragged Siba from his house and tied him to a tree. After being beaten up, Siba put the blame on five women in a bid to save himself from the wrath of villagers.
The accused then brought the women and tied them up before thrashing them mercilessly. Following the incident, the six victims had to be admitted in the local CHC. Tantrik Siba, who sustained injuries on his back, legs and hands, was later shifted to Baripada district headquarters hospital after his condition deteriorated. Betnoti SDPO BC Nanda said the accused were produced in court and remanded to judicial custody.