Nabarangpur: Three middle-aged women were mercilessly beaten up in full public view in Odisha’s Nabarangpur district after local people accused them of being witches.
The shocking incident took place at Sindhiguda village under Papadahandi police station in the tribal-dominated district.
According to reports, the three women were brought to the village on the advice of a local tantrik, identified as Gangai Gouda, to perform puja to cure illness of some people in Sindhiguda village.
The incident took an ugly turn when those unwell people started behaving abnormally just after the puja and it made the locals to believe the three women are witches who caused more harm top their fellow villagers.
Angry over this, the irate locals thrashed the women in full pubic glare while some onlookers video graphed the act in their mobile phones.
Soon after the video went viral, local police rushed to the spot and rescued the three women from the angry villagers.
“The three women were detained for questioning,” said Inspector-In-Charge of Papadahandi PS, Rasmiranjan Pardia.
The police officer also said that six people who had reportedly fell sick just after the puja were admitted to Papadahandi Community Health Centre.
The practice of branding women as witches and assaulting or killing them is still common is some parts of Odisha, particularly among tribal communities, despite there being a law against it.