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News Analysis |

A group of five women was beaten harshly for practicing witchcraft in Madhupur village in Badasahi block of Odisha, India. Villagers accused these women of being witches. The video of the incident shows a furious mob viciously thrashing the women with branches.

The mob also beat the husbands of these women, since they were accused of being associated with them in practicing witchcraft. Thousands of spectators were present to watch the women being lashed.

A spectator filmed the incident. The video shows the women dressed in traditional attire and them being tied to a tree with a rope. Soon after, a few women from the mob started beating them with the branches of the tree.

Local news channels reported that the crowd took turns to beat each of the women. Some women lashed the alleged witches with long branches while others attacked them with their fists.

The accused women were undefended. Shockingly no one from that large crowd intervened to rescue the women. The police were unaware of the incident. They found out about the incident later when they were shown the footage.

Read more: Witchcraft helped Sri Lanka win test series, says Chandimal

A case was registered when the victims submitted a written complaint to the police. According to the police department, they have begun an investigation of the incident.

The region of the incident is already infamous for witchcraft and mob justice. Security officials say they are trying hard to eliminate mob justice since the past few years.

In between 2011 and 2015, 47 murders in the region were identified with links to witchcraft accusations. An official informed that they have been trying to teach people regarding the harms of witchcraft. But an elaborate belief system for witchcraft exists in the society. 

Recently a mentally ill woman was beaten to death after she was accused of trying to kidnap a child in Bangiriposhi village. In another incident, three men were beaten mercilessly after they were accused of kidnapping.

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