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Death sentence for Indian witch doctor who beheaded an 11-year-old ‘for good luck’

FOLLOWING a report that three unrelated deaths linked to witchcraft had occurred this month alone in the West Singhbhum district of India comes news that an Indian witch doctor who beheaded an 11-year-old boy and offered the head as a sacrifice to a goddess to improve his fortunes has been sentenced to death.

A local court in Chhattisgarh state in central India convicted 32-year-old Dilip Rathia on Monday of murder and sentenced him to hang for beheading the boy.

The investigating officer in the case, Praful Thakur, said:

We proved the man beheaded the boy and his head was offered to the local goddess to obtain better luck.

The case, which highlights the persistence of occult beliefs in remote areas, came to light when police found the child’s headless skeleton in the tribal-dominated village of Barpali in Raigarh district, 195 kilometres (121 miles) northeast of state capital Raipur.

Forensic tests proved the skeleton was that of an 11-year-old boy named Praveen who disappeared in February 2012 while visiting a village fair.

Police, acting on a tip-off, raided the home of a man said by locals to be a witch doctor where they found the child’s head.

The man was “practising witchcraft” and “was convicted on charges of murder, hiding evidence and giving false information to conceal the offence”, local police official Rahul Bhagat said.

An Indian witch doctor pictured 'curing' an infant of a sore throat (see report here)

An Indian witch doctor pictured ‘curing’ an infant of a sore throat (see report here)

Human sacrifices in deeply religious and superstitious India usually occur in poorer areas where some people fear and revere practitioners of so-called black magic. The victims are ritually killed by witch doctors to please or appease deities.

In a recent widely-publicised case of suspected child sacrifice, the bodies of a two-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl were found at a home in the industrial town of Bhilai in Chhattisgarh in November 2010.

Seven months before that, the decapitated body of a factory worker was found in a temple in the eastern state of West Bengal.

The first of the three witchcraft related death in April was that of 55-year old Rajnigandha Mukhi who died after cutting a major vein in her leg during a ritual meant to appease the gods. Mukhi, who had been intending to offer only a little blood, bled so profusely the neighboring villagers were not able to carry her body and she died almost immediately in her home.

Then 45-year-old Donga Tamsai was decapitated by her nephew for allegedly practicing witchcraft. The attacker then hid the body of his aunt in the nearby jungle.

Just one day later in the neighboring town of Manjhari a woman named Sini Kui’s was attacked by family members who beat and decapitated her, again for allegedly practicing witchcraft.

26 Responses to “Death sentence for Indian witch doctor who beheaded an 11-year-old ‘for good luck’”

  1. John A says:

    Ignorance and stupidity with a propensity for, and a willingness to carry out heinous acts of barbarism must be one of the worst combinations of human fallibility imaginable.

  2. Ian says:

    In November 2012 Just Greeningm Secretary for International Development stated: ‘India is very successfully developing as an economy’.

    She went on to announce that aid to India (bearing in mind it has its’ own space programme) would be phased out between then and 2015.

    India’s foreign Minister, Salman Khurshid, responded: ‘Aid is the past trade is in the future’.

    I’ve nothing at all against rich countries helping the poorest but can some one please explain ‘Where the f*** did the money go?’

  3. John A says:

    India is the tenth-largest economy in the world and the third largest by purchasing power parity, it’s also one of the G-20 major economies and a member of BRICS. I’m no economist so cannot explain why it can afford nuclear weapons and a space programme, but cannot afford to educate its citizens. It’s absurd that someone could be looking up watching science send a rocket into space whilst they’re standing on a baby to cure its sore throat.

  4. mikespeir says:

    I don’t know. That cure for the baby with the sore throat could actually work. It just needs to come with a strong warning about possible side effects.

  5. Broga says:

    This is as bad as practising cannibalism and drinking blood. And those who do that regulary are respected – well until recently – in our supposedly enlightened country.

  6. barriejohn says:

    More murderous barbarity in the name of religion (you know – that guiding force that provides a moral compass and upholds the sanctity of life):

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/pregnant-woman-throat-slit-stomach-cut-open-horrific-honor-killing-jordan-article-1.1318998?localLinksEnabled=false

  7. L.Long says:

    When a xtian I heard the phrase….”kill them all and let god sort them out!”
    After become an atheist I realized all life is special and all are one of a kind.
    These death cults people call religion are all too disgusting for words.

  8. Matt Westwood says:

    “India is the tenth-largest economy in the world and the third largest by purchasing power parity, it’s also one of the G-20 major economies and a member of BRICS. I’m no economist so cannot explain why it can afford nuclear weapons and a space programme, but cannot afford to educate its citizens. It’s absurd that someone could be looking up watching science send a rocket into space whilst they’re standing on a baby to cure its sore throat.”

    It’s obviously taking the US as its model.

  9. Matt Westwood says:

    And here’s another thing: what was the precise point at which “stomach” started to be used instead of “womb”? That’s probably the most ridiculous case of euphemism creep I’ve ever encountered.

    Okay so womb –> “down there” –> belly –> tummy, but surely a note of sanity comes in when there is an attempt to make that “stomach”?

    In case anyone’s still confused by this: the “stomach” is the big bag immediately below the diaphragm (that is, underneath the breathing-bags) in which food gets put on its long journey towards the pitty-patty-poo-pot. When I see news stories about how a foetus was “ripped from a woman’s stomach” my immediate reaction is: why did she eat it?

  10. 1859 says:

    The human psyche has a very thin, very flexible membrane between a rational worldview (0.001% of the total) and a vast, dark hinterland of superstion, barbarity, ignorance, perversity, brutality, sadism, intolerance and irrationality (99.999% of the total). We have struggled to survive in a world in which the latter was the norm for over 195,000 years. Only in the past 5000 years have we even started to think as rational beings. Standing on a baby to cure it of a sore throat…well it’s on the wrong side of the membrane.

  11. Roq says:

    This piece refers to ‘remote areas’ and a belief in the occult. Well… this is nonsense. The occult, black magic, curses and astrology are hugely popular in India and such quacks are ten a penny in every town and city.

    They’re also very easy to find in every town in the UK with even a modest south asian community. There are high streets in Leicester and London with a few on a single parade of shops. This is far from some niche issue in rural India, although obviously human sacrifice is pretty exceptional.

    Look in the ad pages in the back of any of the free Asian weeklies distributed across the UK – literally dozens of adverts from ‘Pandits’ and ‘Sheikhs’, as they are generally known.

    Like Psychic Sally but with more fucked-up batshit insane. They’ll see off demons for cash and, famously, ‘return loved ones’ who disobey. That’s the tag line in every one of these ads. Try Eastern Eye, etc. – right there in the back pages. They even leaflet houses, just like pizza delivery and taxi companies do.

  12. Marky Mark says:

    (The occult, black magic, curses and astrology are hugely popular in India)
    …and in the state of Arkansas USA

  13. Broga says:

    On the occult and superstition I have been wondering about the Waco explosion in Texas with 70 dead and rising. Texas is one of the most God fearing states, with a literal belief in the bible, as well as the one with the most (nearly all non white) killed on its Death Row. So far God has not been mentioned. Where is he in all this horror?

    I wonder whether this in punishment from God because of the refusal to back Obama’s wish for background checks to restrain criminals and the insane from buying guns. Texas is against any restraint.

  14. barriejohn says:

    Broga: God “tests” his children. When it’s his enemies, he’s punishing them!

  15. Angela_K says:

    @Broga. They’ll be saying it is god’s wrath for Equal Marriage as the Wetsbro Baptist nutters have claimed for the Boston bombs.

  16. Broga says:

    @barriejohn and Angela_K: What I had in mind, of course, as you both suggest is the arbitrary and mysterious nature of what God wants or is doing. Pick any event and choose what you wish. My wife makes the point that God does not hesitate to include the innocent, including children, amognst those on whom he wreaks vengeance. That little six year old girl who had her leg blasted off while watching the Boston marathon really got to me. What she must be suffering.

    I have been reading about ancient Rome and the hellish tortures they inflicted on Christians. I was intrigued to see that the Christians, because they rejected the Roman gods, were often refered to as atheists. Reminded me of Richard Dawkins’ comment that we are all atheists for whichever faith differs from our own. He, like most of us here, just goes one step further.

  17. barriejohn says:

    BTW: Did anyone else see that stupid woman being interviewed in Boston?

    “Don’t mess with America; you’ll awaken a sleeping giant!”

    For one thing, this looks like the work of a white supremacist again (Patriot’s Day), and for another, what “sleeping giant” for fuck’s sake – they’re slaughtering people all round the globe!

  18. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: Just read your post. So what has the pretty little six year old with her leg blasted off, her dead eight year old brother and her mother needing brain surgery got to do with same same marriage. Those who make the connection are low life scum.

  19. Matt Westwood says:

    Bah. Next thing you know, they’ll be branding pastafarians as atheists.

  20. David says:

    They never prescribe killing themselves to appease a deity. Odd that, and a big pity.

  21. Broga says:

    @David: In the same way that the mullahs are never the suicide bombers but select those for paradise. And the practicioners of the agony of FGM inflict it on little girls, often infants.

  22. [...] Indian witch doctor who beheaded an 11-??year-??old boy “for good luck” sentenced to dea… “His head was offered to the local goddess to obtain better luck.” What sort of savagery even makes this a thing that even exists? [...]

  23. Frank Li says:

    Beheading someone to improve their fortune, you’re doing it wrong.

  24. jumayna khan says:

    :( :( D: