Two brothers were arrested in Mayurbhanj, India recently for beheading a woman they suspected was practicing witchcraft.
Police Officer Mohan Pani Karua says Sundar Murmu, 42, and Fakir Murmu, 45, are charged with killing the woman.
Sundar Murmu allegedly strangled the woman to death in his house. Then, he and his brother stuffed the body in a bag and took it to a nearby forest. They proceeded to chop off her head and hands to make it look like she’d been eaten by animals. Her body was found by officials two days later.
Police found the ax used to murder the woman in Sundar Murmu’s house. They say Murmu blamed the woman for the recent death of his 11-year-old daughter. The girl died of malaria, but Murmu and his family believe the woman’s witchcraft killed her.
When Murmu’s son fell ill several days after his daughter’s death, he and his brother decided they needed to kill the woman.
After being arrested, the brothers freely admitted to the murder. Their bail pleas were refused, and they remain in jail.
Witchcraft killings remain a serious problem in India. A recent Washington Post report found that over 2,000 people accused of practicing withcraft were killed in India from 2002-2012.