Bhubaneswar: A 60-year-old tribal woman was beaten up and paraded naked in a village in Odisha`s Mayurbhanj district for allegedly practicing sorcery, police said Monday.
The incident took place Sunday at Jodapokhari village, about 300 km from here, but came to light after police rescued the victim about 12 hours after being tied up to a pillar in a naked condition.
Additional District Superintendent of Police G.C. Mallick said an 18-year-old man of the same village died of malaria July 23 in a government hospital.
His family suspected the death was caused by sorcery and they refused to perform his last rites. Along with other villagers they asked three village women, whom they suspect of being witchcraft practitioners, to bring him back to life, Mallick said.
While the rituals were being performed, one of the women left the area. The villagers later caught hold of her. They accused her of killing the 18-year-old, beat her up, stripped her and tied her naked to a pillar, he said.
Police rescued the woman who is said to be in a critical condition.
"In my 32 years of police career, I had never seen such a barbaric witchcraft related crime," Mallick said.
More than a 100 armed policemen have been deployed in the village as tensions grew after the villagers refused to cremate the body.