The Odisha Police have arrested six people from Sundargarh district for murdering a woman and her four children on the suspicion that she was a witch practising black magic, PTI reported on Monday. The police said the accused have confessed to their crimes.

The main accused was identified as Budhram Munda, who called himself a “witch doctor”, Koida Police Inspector Sushant Das told the Hindustan Times. Indupur villager Debra Munda and his brothers-in-law were the other accused.

They allegedly used a crowbar to murder tribal woman Mangri Munda and her children – daughters aged 10 and one, and sons aged nine and four – and then dumped their bodies in a well on Friday night.

“Budhram, who practises witchcraft, suspected that Mangri, Sudam’s wife, was casting spells on a Debra Munda’s family,” Das told the daily. “This, he thought, was leading to a long-running sickness in the family that claimed the lives of Debra Munda’s two daughters. Budhram told Debra that Mangri and her children were witches who were responsible for the illnesses.”