The Courier-Mail

‘Quack’ led witch-hunt bloodbath

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NEW DELHI: Police in eastern India were yesterday searching for a “village quack” suspected of inciting the mob killing of five women accused of witchcraft.

Police said the woman was thought to have stirred up an angry mob who bludgeoned the five to death after blaming them for recent deaths in Kanjia village, Jharkhand state.

“She told the villagers that these five were using black magic and causing the deaths of children,” said Arun Kumar Singh, deputy police chief of the capital, Ranchi. “She abetted the whole thing.

“We are searching for her and will arrest her on the charge of murder.”

The police chief added that three more in the village had been arrested late on Saturday over the killings, bringing the total number detained to 27. The women were dragged out of their huts by their hair and beaten and stabbed to death with sticks, knives and stones about midnight on Friday.

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