Hansdah’s family believe that she was targeted
An elderly Indian tribal woman has been beheaded over suspicions that she was practising witchcraft.
Sixty-two-year-old Jamuna Hansdah lived in Balibhol village in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district.
According to the police, they found Hansdah’s decapitated body on Sunday, July 4, 2021.
However, they are yet to recover her head.
The police also said that they brought in two youths for questioning in connection with Jamuna Hansdah’s death.
According to Karanjia sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Sudarshan Gangoi, she was last seen on Saturday, July 3, 2021.
Gangoi added that a murder case has now been registered, and further investigation into the Indian woman’s death is underway.
Hansdah’s family believe that she was targeted after the recent death of another person in the village.
Witchcraft-related murders are not uncommon in India, and Odisha has seen around 60 take place every year since 2010.
In November 2020, a software engineer was burnt to death by his in-laws after accusing him of performing black magic.
The man was later identified as 38-year-old Pagilla Pavan Kumar.
Kumar had travelled to Balwanthapur from Hyderabad to pay tribute to his wife’s deceased brother, who died of a heart attack.
However, the Indian man’s in-laws suspected that he had used black magic to kill the brother himself.
Kumar was allegedly tied to a chair and burnt to death. The police believed that more than one person may have been responsible for the crime.
Speaking of the incident, Mallyal sub-inspector of police Nagaraju said:
“At around 7:30 pm, we received a call from the local people that a person was in flames and screaming in a room locked from outside.
“We rushed to the spot and broke open the door of the room.
“We found Kumar tied to a chair and completely burnt. He died instantaneously.”
When speaking with the police, the Indian man’s wife, Krishnaveni, revealed that her husband and her brother had some differences.
She recalled that, just prior to the incident, her sister-in-law Sumalatha sent her to fetch a bottle of water. However, her husband was dead when she came back.
“By the time I returned, my husband was locked up inside the room and was screaming while being burnt alive.”
According to Nagaraju, the Indian man’s case is a clear and cold-blooded murder. He said:
“Moreover, the room was locked from outside. So, we booked a case under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and are investigating.
“We are questioning all the suspects and will crack the case soon.”