Telangana woman murdered on suspicion of performing black magic

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Hyderabad, Feb 10

 Suspicion of performing black magic claimed life of a woman in Telangana, police said.

The incident occurred in Kutoda village of Asifabad rural mandal in Kumaram Bheem Asifabad district on Wednesday.

According to police, a man, whose 12-year-old son had died a few days ago because of ill-health, attacked the woman and killed her as he suspected that the black magic performed by her led to the death of his son.

Kante Bheembai (65) died when Atram Katti hit her on her head with a stick when she was sitting near a bonfire to beat the winter chill. The woman's family members shifted her to Asifabad hospital but she succumbed on the way.

A police officer said that on the complaint lodged by Bheembai's son, the accused was arrested and sent to judicial custody.

Katti's son Shyam Rao (12) had died of ill-health a few days ago and he had suspicion that the sorcery being allegedly practiced by the woman which led to his death and he was waiting to take revenge.

The incident occurred one-and-half months after three men were hacked to death on suspicion of practicing black magic.

A man and his two sons were brutally hacked to death by a group of people during a meeting of Yerukala community at Tarakram Nagar in Jagtial district on December 20.

During a heated argument, some participants in the meeting attacked Nageshwar Rao and his three sons with knives and other sharp-edged weapons and killed them in presence of 40-50 people.

A woman in Yerukala Wada died a week ago and Rao's rivals suspected him to be responsible for her death.

Superstitious beliefs are deep-rooted in parts of Telangana. The region has seen a spate of incidents in the past in which people suspected to be practicing 'Bhanamati'(a form of black magic) were burnt alive or hacked to death. In most of the cases, the victims were women. They were either murdered, paraded naked or physically abused.

The awareness campaign conducted by police over the last two decades led to a drop in the number of such cases but has not totally eliminated the menace.

Police still use cultural troupes called 'kalabrundam' in rural areas to create awareness among people against black magic.

Through the cultural programmes, police try to drive home the message that people should shed superstitious beliefs and don't fall into the trap of tantriks. People are also urged not to suspect black magic for health, financial or other problems.

Not just remote villages and towns but even cities are witnessing such incidents. Hyderabad also saw a murder over black magic in November last year. A man was murdered by his sister's husband after he demanded Rs 2 lakh for treatment of his girl friend as he was suspected them to have performed black magic on her. Four persons including a home guard were arrested for the murder.

In November 2020, a Hyderabad techie was burnt alive by his in-laws' family in Jagtial district. The 40-year-old techie, who was blamed for the death of his wife's brother through black magic, was doused with petrol and burnt alive in an ashram run by his in-laws at Balwantpur village. Police said the techie's wife was also present in the ashram and did nothing to stop the murder. The family was so convinced about the man practicing black magic that they felt if he was not killed, he would kill them.


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