Tripura tribal man killed for ‘practising witchcraft’

Agartala, March 25 (IANS) A 54-year-old tribal villager was killed by a Tripura State Rifle (TSR) trooper for allegedly practising witchcraft, police said here on Friday.

“TSR jawan Sanjit Debbarma and his friend Charan Debbarma shot dead Renu Debbarma branding the victim as practicing witchcraft. The incident occurred at Teliamura town on Thursday night,” a police official said.

Both the accused were arrested.

“Sanjit told police interrogators that his daughter died three months ago and his wife had fallen ill since then. Charan was also suffering from various ailments. They thought that Renu Debbarma has done some black magic and due to this Sanjit’s daughter died and his wife and Charan fell sick,” the police official added.

Sanjit, a rifleman of 12th battalion of TSR, has been remaining absent from his duties without permission.

The practice of branding tribal people, mostly women, as witches and killing and torturing them continues in remote, rural and tribal areas of Assam, Tripura and other north-eastern states.

In the last few years, more than 50 people, mostly women, have been tortured and beaten to death on suspicion of practising witchcraft or black magic in Tripura.

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