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Three hacked to death over allegations of witchcraft • Saturday April 19, 2003

AFP, Apr. 17, 2003

At least three members of a family in Tripura [India] were hacked to death by a tribal mob for allegedly practicing witchcraft, police said on Thursday.

A spokesman said a group of 25 to 30 armed men on Wednesday attacked a house belonging to a village quack doctor in Tultuli, 60 kilometers south of Agartala.

“The mob dragged out three members of a family and (killed) them with machetes and spears before fleeing the area,” the spokesman said by telephone from Agartala.

The dead included the quack doctor, 55-year-old Nityalila Naotia, his teenaged son and another member of the family, whom he did not identify.

“It was believed Naotia was a practicing sorcerer and through his black magic he had cast evil spells on villagers, prompting a group within the village to eliminate them,” the spokesman said.

Police have arrested four people in connection with the killings.

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