NEW DELHI (dpa) – A 55-year-old Indian woman was tortured and beaten to death by her relatives who suspected her of practising witchcraft, police said Monday.
Dukalheen Bai died in the Bemetera district of the central state of Chhattisgarh on Saturday night and 12 family members including her brother-in-law Nakul Patel were arrested for the crime.
“Patel and his family blamed her for making his son ill by practising witchcraft,” district police chief Narendra Khare said by phone.
“On Saturday, they dragged the woman out of the house, punched her and beat her with sticks. She died on the scene.”
India has no specific law against witch hunting, and incidents of torture and murders of women branded as witches are reported at regular intervals from around the country.
At least 2,100 people, mostly women, were murdered between 2000 and 2012 for allegedly practising witchcraft, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.