India: Man ‘decapitates’ sister-in-law he accused of witchcraft

Violence against women is a common occurance in India

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The Independent Online

Police are reportedly hunting a man accused of beheading his sister-in-law he suspected of being a witch.

The man, named only as Uttam, reportedly used a machete-type blade known as a ‘gadasa’ to hack at her neck over 15 times.

Mr Uttam is now on the run, according to the Times of India reports.

The incident occurred in Gadhia in Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.

It followed the death of Mr Uttam’s brother, Thakur, in February this year.

Mr Uttam allegedly blamed the death on Mr Thakur’s wife, Dhandevi. He reportedly believed Ms Dhandevi had been practicing witchcraft, known as 'jadu tona' on her husband.

Jadu tona is believed by some residents of northern India to be a system of black magic.

Mr Uttam accused Dhandevi of tying a magical 'taveej' locket on a tree outside her house, causing the death of Mr Thakur.

Witnesses told police Mr Uttam found a taveej tied in the same place a second time.

He then accused Ms Dhandevi of killing his brother through witchcraft, which she consistently denied.

Mr Uttam then allegedly used a bladed weapon to kill Ms Dhandevi.

Police have launched a murder investigation.

India has had significant issues with violence against women. In 2012 the issue gained global attention following the gang-rape of a woman on a woman on a Dehli bus.