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MP: Three of tribal family hacked to death; woman’s head hung from tree

Killings likely due to suspected witchcraft; 2 family members detained, says SP

murder-plan-shutterstock Representative image | Shutterstock

Three members of a tribal family, including a 12-year-old girl, were hacked to death in Mohgaon block of Mandla district in Madhya Pradesh late on Monday night.

One of the victims – a 57-year-old woman – was beheaded, and the severed head was hung from a tree about a kilometre from the murder spot.

The police suspect the murders were committed by the family members on suspicion of witchcraft by the beheaded woman Sukrati Bai Warkade. “We have detained two persons and we are close to solving the case,” Mandla Superintendent of Police Yashpal Singh Rajput told THE WEEK.

According to the information available, the incident occurred in Patadehi Bodasilli village under Mohgaon police station, when Narbad Singh Warkade, 62, his wife Sukrati and their granddaughter Mahima, 12, were sleeping on the roof of their house. Both Narbad Singh and Mahima’s throats were slit while Sukrati Bai was beheaded.

Rajput told THE WEEK that the tree on which Sukrati Bai’s head was hung, was in the farm of the family and it was the same tree under which the deceased woman sat to guard the farm. “According to initial probe, there are indications that Sukrati Bai was suspected of indulging in black magic or witchcraft and this might be the reason of the murders. We are questioning those detained for further information,” the SP said.

Congress attacks government

Congress attacked the BJP government in the state for failing to save lives and honour of tribal people. The incident comes within a fortnight of two tribal men lynched in Seoni district on May 3 on the suspicion of cow slaughter and beef smuggling. There had been allegations of the accused being linked to right-wing organisations.

MP Congress chief Kamal Nath tweeted to condemn the Mandla incident and asked the government why excesses against the tribals were increasing in the state. He said that the government was busy making false announcements and spending tribal development funds on rallies, but were failing to ensure basic right to life for the tribals.

Digvijaya Singh tweeted asking whether the home minister (Narottam Mishra) shouldn’t resign in view of the increasing crime graph in the state, especially excesses on dalits and tribals. “But I have no hopes from him (Mishra) and the chief minister doesn’t have the courage to seek resignation from him,” Singh tweeted.

CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan had ordered transfer of Seoni SP Kumar Prateek and removal of entire staff of Kurrai police station and Badalpur police post, 12 days after the May 3 lynching.

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