A 60-year-old Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra district was allegedly lynched by villagers who called her a witch and suspected her of chopping off women’s hair. There have been several reports across Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in the recent of women complaining of their hair being mysteriously chopped off while they were asleep.
The incident took place early on Wednesday morning when Maan Devi had left home and lost her way back, reported Hindustan Times. She had inadvertently reached an upper caste neighbourhood in Mutnai village. “My mother begged them to spare her, saying she was not a witch, but they did not listen,” her son Gulab Singh told NDTV.
Besides a murder case, charges relating to atrocities against Dalits were also filed against two accused who are absconding.
The police said when the villagers were questioned, they said the accused had physically assaulted the woman, calling her a witch involved in the mysterious braid-chopping incidents.
“We have taken note of rumours about a mysterious hair chopper that are doing the rounds across villages in several districts of the state,” Additional Superintendent of Uttar Pradesh Police (DGP Headquarters) Rahul Srivastav told Scroll.in. “We will soon issue a public advisory and crack down on rumour mongers.”
The Fatehabad police have said Maan Devi had abrasion marks on her head and hands, The Indian Express reported. “The cause of death stated in the postmortem report is heart failure,” Fatehabad circle officer Tejveer Singh said.