Indian police arrest 67 women in death of barber suspected of black magic
HYDERABAD, India (AP) - Indian police arrested 67 women on Wednesday after a mob killed a barber suspected of practising black magic, an official said. Dozens more women were being sought by authorities.
The arrests came after the mob of about 150 women from the south Indian village of Muddireddypalli attacked the shop of a barber named Parvathalu on Tuesday, beating him and locking him inside before setting the building on fire, said C. Satyanarayana, a district official.
The villagers suspected he was practising black magic and held him responsible for the large number of deaths in the village in the past year, he said.
The attack was prompted by the death of another woman earlier this week, the official said.
The barber was suspected of sorcery because "he was seen throwing lemons here and there," Satyanarayana said.
He gave no details, but many villagers in this part of India believe lemons are used in black magic.
Police planned to arrest all the women involved in the attack, but most had fled their homes to avoid arrest, Satyanarayana said.
Muddireddypalli is about 100 kilometres south of Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh state.
Mahbubnagar, the district where the village is located, is a rural area with high levels of illiteracy and poverty. Many villagers are superstitious.
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