Monday, 24. November 2014
28. 08. 14. - 16:00
Witches who burned a man alive after chopping off his arms in a bizarre ritual have been seized by police in central India.
Victim Brijlal Chopra was stabbed repeatedly while his horrified family looked on before the self-styled sorceresses set him ablaze with kerosene soaked rags, say investigators.
"They were laughing and dancing around his body to music while he screamed in agony. In the end there was just a pile of ashes left," said a police spokesman in Mandla, the city where the ritual slaying happened.
Chopra had sought out a local witchcraft healer - known only as Parvati - for treatment for his 10-year-old son, said police.
But as soon as the family reached her commune, Parvati branded Chopra a rival sorcerer and ordered her disciples to kill him.
His wife Sushma later told police: "It was sickening. They surrounded him and took turns to stab him with tridents and hack at him with an axe.
"They cut off his hands because they said that was where his power was.
"My husband told them he had no powers, no witchcraft, but they wouldn't listen. The more he screamed, the more they sang and the more they laughed.
"Then to make sure his power was gone for ever, they said they had to burn him. This was in front of our son who was terrified."
Patvati and her followers allowed Sushma and her son to leave, but vowed to curse them if they told anyone. The family ignored the threats and travelled all night to a police station where they reported the incident.
Police say the witch and six of her followers are in custody awaiting trial for murder.
"We confiscated literature on witchcraft, as well as axes and tridents from the scene. We have also recovered some ashes for forensic tests," said a police spokesman.
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