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Assam ‘witch-hunt’: 2 killed in 4 days

Witch-hunting — a social malaise the Assam government has not been able to tackle effectively — has returned after a gap of a couple of months, with two women being brutally murdered in two different districts by villagers in the past four days.

While a 55-year old woman, Phuleswari Halowa was burnt alive by residents of Jalah Hajanbasti under Charaideo sub-division in Sivasagar on Thursday night, police on Saturday dug out the body of Lakshmi Gaur (45) from a jungle after she was hacked to death by villagers of Milanpur in Sonitpur district.

“The Hajanbasti case is an outcome of superstition and illiteracy, with villagers going on a frenzy after some held this woman responsible for a few deaths,” said Prakash Sonowal, SDPO of Charaideo sub-division.

In Sonitpur, Lakshmi Gaur (45) was killed after being accused of witch-craft. The perpetrators of the crime buried her body in a jungle on Friday night. The police have arrested six persons in connection with the crime.

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