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Indian police: People branded as witches killed

May 14, 2012 at 9:43 AM

NEW DELHI, May 14 (UPI) -- At least four people, including three people branded as witches or warlocks, were killed in Jharkhand in east India in recent months, officials said.

Police said the killings were attributed to witchcraft "diktats," non-reviewable orders demanding women labeled as witches be killed by cutting their throats, Bikyamasr.com reported Monday.

Officials said two people in Lawagai were killed March 10 and less than a month later a couple were killed in Hastala. The victims had their throats slit, police said.

A recent survey indicated as many as 1,157 murders were committed between 1991 and 2010 because of the practices, Bikyamasr.com said. In 2001, the Indian government enacted a law in an effort to stifle the witchcraft killings

Government sources said most of the slayings may have been a grab for the victims' property.

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