From: Times of India
Police on Sunday arrested four persons for the alleged killing of a four-year-old boy for sorcery at Nuagaon village near Kegaon in Kalahandi district.
The accused were identified as the boy’s paternal uncle, Jarbi Gahir, a priest, Kumuda Sarangi, a sorcerer, Dayalu Dora, and a villager, Parameswar Dora.
Police said the boy, Ajit Gahir, had gone missing on November 2 from the village. Three days later, police retrieved the body from the nearby Kunkad forest. “We had launched a search operation for the boy after his parents lodged a missing complaint, but we couldn’t locate him despite our best efforts. Some villagers, who had gone to the forest, informed us about body parts being strewn in the forest. Further investigation revealed that the boy was killed for witchcraft,” said OIC (Kegaon police station) Sanjay Kumar Mandal.
Mandal said the murder was preplanned and the body parts of the boy were used for witchcraft. “The accused have confessed to the crime. They had picked up the boy from near his house and strangulated him to death on the outskirts of the village. The body parts were then dumped in the forest,” the OIC added.
The persecution and murder of women and children in the name of witchcraft is a long standing issue. It was highlighted by United Nations officials, civil society representatives from affected countries and non-governmental organization (NGO) specialists back in 2009 . Aides to U.N. special investigators on women’s rights and on summary executions said killings and violence against alleged witch women — often elderly people — were becoming common events in countries ranging from South Africa to India.