Home Minister condemns murder of octogenarian over witchcraft allegation

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Shillong, Oct 13: Home Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui on Tuesday asked people to refrain from taking the law into their own hands as he condemned the murder of an 80-year old, Moris Marngar in a village in West Khasi Hills district, who was accused of practicing witchcraft.

Moris Marngar (80) was buried alive on October 7 by persons from his own Marngar clan at Nongdisong village in West Khasi Hills district. They accused Moris has been casting evil spell on their relative, Sildaris Marngar, who has been ailing for the past few months.

The body was exhumed on Monday and after postmortem, the body was handed over to the family for a funeral rite which was held in the village.

Moris was buried alive with his hands and legs tied with a rope, and the whole body was put in a sack.

Reacting to the incident, the Home Minister condemned it and assured that the law would take its course of action against the perpetrators.

“I strongly condemn such act of lynching and superstitious. I sympathize with the family of the person who died in this circumstance,” Rymbui said.

The home minister also asked the people to refrain from taking the law into their own hands but should inform the law enforcing authority if there is anything suspicious.

He informed that some persons involved in the heinous crime have been arrested and a charge sheet would be filed very soon.

Police have arrested eight persons -Denial Marngar (40) Jayless Marngar (27, Diferwell Marngar (30), Walphanus Marngar (32), Exstarning Marngar (52), Beransius Marngar (30), Kyrshanborlang Marngar 25) and Michalpol Marngar in this connection.

Whether the state should come up with a separate law to deal with witchcraft related crimes, Rymbui ruled out the need to come up with a new legislation.

“The laws that are there can take care of all crimes be it assault and murder. The IPC and CrPC that are already there to take care,” he said

The home minister, also compared with many years in the past, cases related to witchcraft hunting are very less in the state now.