RANCHI: Five members of a family were axed to death by their relatives at Kuruhatu-Amtoli under Kamdara Police Station in Gumla on suspicion of practising black magic.
Though the incident took place on Tuesday night, it came to light on Friday. The investigation into the matter is being conducted by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).
According to police, the massacre was carried out following a decision by the villagers. The villagers found that people are frequently falling ill and dying during the past few weeks. They believed that the tragic incidents happened due to sorcery being practised by Nikodine Topno, 58, and his wife Josephina Dahanga, 55.
“After examining the evidence closely and taking all aspects into consideration, it was revealed to be a case of witch-hunting. During investigations, it was also found that after a few instances of death and sickness, the villagers came to a conclusion that it was a repercussion of witchcraft being practised by the couple,” said Gumla SP Hurdeep P Janardhanan. A meeting was organized by the villagers in a football ground on Tuesday morning and a decision was taken to finish the couple as they were the only reason behind the sufferings of the people, he added.
“On Tuesday night, eight villagers assembled near the couple’s house after consuming alcohol and hacked Nikodine and his wife Josephina to death with sharp weapons,” said the SP. They also killed the rest of the family members to remove the eyewitnesses, he added.
“The couple's son Vincent Topno, 32, daughter-in-law Silvanti Topno, 30, and five-year-old grandson Albine Topno were also hacked to death,” said the SP. All the eight accused have been arrested and confessed to the crime. The weapons used have also been recovered, he added.
The SP further said that a total of 13 FIRs have been lodged under relevant sections of IPC at Kamdara Police Station. The cops are also identifying others involved in the crime, he said.