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Three ‘witches’ kill themselves

Oct. 24, 2003 • Saturday October 25, 2003

Three members of the same family accused of being witches have committed suicide, Indian police say.

They took their lives after fellow villagers publicly humiliated them, forcing them to eat human excrement.

Six people the police want to interview in connection with the case have gone missing.

The deaths occurred in the village of Kamalpura in the state of Bihar, in eastern India, where attacks on people accused of witchcraft are common.

‘Continuous torture’

Local police told the BBC that one of the three family members, a 60-year-old woman, Kari Devi, had been the subject of attacks for a year.

Last week a group attacked her, her husband and daughter-in-law.

The two women had their hair cut off before the three were forced to eat human waste, the AFP news agency reports.

Villagers had said the three were responsible for the death a local person they had cast spells on.

On Thursday, the three all took poison and died, the police say.

“They could not bear the continuous torture and finally lost the will to live,” a relative told the police.

Last July, two women accused of witchcraft were burned to death by a mob in the neighbouring state of Jharkhand, police said.

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