Five persons were arrested in Rajasthan's Ajmer district on Sunday for torturing and murdering a woman relative earlier this month after branding her a witch, police said.
"We have arrested Mahaveer, Gopi Chand, Chandra Prakash, Pinki and Sonya in this case. These arrests have been made under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including Section 302 (punishment for murder) and the Rajasthan Prevention of Witch-Hunting Act," said a police official on phone from Kekri in Ajmer.
Kalu and Maya, the son and daughter of 40-year-old Kanya, in a complaint to police, alleged that their mother was ill for some time after her husband's death about a month ago and some relatives allegedly to grab her property branded her as a witch.
The woman was beaten up badly with iron chains, dragged forcibly by hair and paraded naked in the village. Iron rods were also put into her eyes and she was also forced to eat faeces.
The woman subsequently died and was cremated clandestinely on August 4, according to the complaint.
Even the village panchayat, also sought to cover up the incident, directing them to go to Pushkar and take a holy dip to wash their sins and also warning that anyone who disclosed the incident to the authorities would be cast out from the community.