TIRUVANNAMALAI: In a gruesome incident, a seven-year-old boy was allegedly thrashed to death when his mother and two aunts attempted to exorcise an 'evil spirit' in him after he developed fits near Arni in Tiruvannamalai district.
Sabari, 7, of JJ Nagar, Ariyur in Vellore district, was being taken to a sorcerer in Vandavasi on an autorickshaw on Sunday night by his mother Thilagavathy and her sisters Bagyalakshmi and Kavitha.
However, the autorickshaw driver dropped them midway at Kannamangalam bus stand. Later, the women took the boy to the town panchayat office in the area where he was stated to have suffered fits, sources said.
The women thought there was an evil spirit in him and began to thrash him to ward it off.
When a few pavement dwellers questioned them, the three women abused and chased them away, the sources added.
While thrashing the boy, one of them had trampled upon his neck before he died.
On being informed, police rushed to the spot and nabbed the women -- Thilagavathi, 30, and her sisters Bagyalakshmi, 26, and Kavitha, 28. The body was sent to Government Vellore Medical College Hospital in Adukkamparai for autopsy.
Senior police officials including Additional Superintendent of Police (AdSP) T Ashok Kumar visited the spot and held inquiries.
He said, "The women told the investigators that the boy was possessed by a spirit and tried to ward it off when he suffered fits. Further inquiries are on."