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Mob beheads 5 family members for ‘witchcraft’

A tea plantation worker and his four children were beheaded in India’s northeast by a mob which accused them of practicing black magic, police said Sunday.
/ Source: Reuters

A tea plantation worker and his four children were beheaded in India’s remote northeast by a mob which accused them of practicing black magic, police said on Sunday.

Sixty-year-old Amir Munda, who was also a traditional healer, his two sons and two daughters were killed by angry villagers after a kangaroo court held them guilty of spreading a mysterious disease which killed two people and left many others ill over the last two weeks.

The incident took place late on Saturday in a tea garden near Biswanath Charali town in Sonitpur district of Assam state, about 190 miles north of Guwahati, the state’s main city.

“More than 200 people who were involved in the gruesome murder marched to the police station carrying the severed heads and shouting slogans against witchcraft all the way,” T. Gogoi, a local police officer, said by phone.

He said the heads were left at the police station.

Tribal people and tea plantation workers in Assam, who live in unhygienic conditions in malaria-infested areas with little drinking water and healthcare facilities, often go to local traditional healers to cure illnesses.