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13 held in Assam witch-hunting case

By The Assam Tribune

GUWAHATI, March 22 (IANS): At least 13 people were arrested Saturday for their alleged involvement in the murder of three members of a family in Assam on suspicion of practicing witchcraft, police said.

The victims were identified as Rajendra Brahma (65), his wife Bangali Brahma (60) and their 35-year-old daughter Malati Brahma, police said.

Police said the incident took place at Borjhora village in Kokrajhar district under the Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts (BTAD).

"Some villagers suspected the family of practicing witchcraft and killed them on the night of March 19," said Inspector General of Police (BTAD) L.R. Bishnoi.

"Two days after the incident, police were informed that three members of a family went missing," he said.

Police Saturday launched a search operation and recovered two of the bodies.

The bodies were identified as being of the mother and the daughter. A search is on for the third body.

As many as 13 people, who were involved in the murders, have been arrested so far.

The practice of witch-hunting still exists among some communities in Assam. Although various steps have been taken both by government agencies and non-government organisations to stop it, very little success has been achieved.

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