Patna: A 58-year-old Dalit woman was on Thursday killed by her neighbour in Bihar's Gaya district, around 100 km from state capital Patna, for allegedly practicing witchcraft, police said.

According to police, Lashki Devi was brutally beaten before being strangled to death by her neighbour Kapil Bhuiyan in Jumladih hamlet of Chotki Kewla village in Dumaria area of Gaya.

Villagers said that Bhuiyan accused the woman of practising witchcraft and beat her up in full view of public.

"After she fell unconscious, the accused dragged her to a nearby forest where he strangled her to death," police said. Bhuiyan was arrested after a first information report (FIR) was filed by the woman's husband, police added.

The practice of branding women as witches and torturing them continues unabated in remote rural areas of Bihar. A month ago, a woman in Sitamarhi district of the state was forced by some people to eat human excreta after being branded a witch.

Last year, the Bihar Human Rights Commission (BHRC) directed the state government to expedite probe and trials of cases related to offences under the Prevention of Witch Hunting Act, 1999.


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