A female aged 40 has been murdered in another witch hunt in India. One of her attackers was also killed by her husband. Junga Munda (40) was attacked as she went to bed, in Keonjhar village, Orissa, India.
Up to five people are reported to have attacked Munda. Her husband attacked the crowd with an axe, killing one person. Somnath Munda (28) is said to have died of his injuries in hospital.
Police have seized an axe and detained the husband along with the four alleged attackers.
Witch hunts are relatively common in India with up to a dozen women murdered every year. Many more are beaten, stripped or subject to public humiliation. Often the cause can be superstition or gossip.
The state of Jharkhand in India brought in a law in ten years ago that made it illegal to declare anyone a witch. Local Islamic fundamentalists as well as lack of education are blamed for the witch hunts. Jealous family members or villagers wanting to take over property or land belonging to the ”witch” is also a common reason.