Meghalaya home minister Lahkmen Rymbui on Tuesday asked people to refrain from taking the law into their own hands after an 80-year old was buried alive after he was accused of practicing witchcraft.
However, he said existing laws like the IPC and CrPC are enough to deal with witchcraft-related crimes and to take care of crimes being committed including assault and murder.
An octogenarian, Moris Marngar, was buried alive on October 7 by persons belonging to his own Marngar clan at Nongdisong village in West Khasi Hills district after he was forcibly taken away from his house.
They accused that Moris of 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 post-mortem, 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 chargesheet would be filed very soon.
Police have arrested eight persons including 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.
Asked if 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.
According to the Meghalaya home minister, compared with many years in the past, cases related to witchcraft hunting are very less in the state now.