Seven members of two dalit families were tied to wooden poles of a shed and beaten mercilessly by a mob in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra, on the account of practising black magic.
The thrashing continued for hours. A total of seven people were injured in the mob assault, where five of the seriously injured were elderly.
Additional SP of Chandrapur, said on Saturday night, 13 persons have been arrested so far.
He told that seven members of two Dalit families were summoned to the village square by local residents who accused them of practising “black magic and possessing spirits”.
When the Dalits reached the village chowk, people started throwing mud on them, he said.
The crowd then tied three of them, including two women, to wooden poles and thrashed them with sticks and also punched them, the police officer said.
And assaulted other four members too, he added.
Some villagers kicked the women victims and also punched on their faces, the Police officer said.
The victims were accused of witchcraft by four women who were allegedly possessed by spirits (Bhanamati), on Friday.
The victim Prayagbai Huke said, “A group marched to our house on Saturday morning, asking us to reach the village main square, as we were named for practising back magic by persons possessed by spirits. We agreed to go as we are innocent”.
Inspector Santosh Ambike said police have arrested 13 persons in connection with the incident and charged them under an anti-superstition act.