Villagers were verbally abused, threatened when they tried to intervene, police said (Representational)
Three women and a man were allegedly stripped and thrashed by a mob of around 50 people who accused them of practising witchcraft, and then paraded naked throughout the village in Jharkhand's Garhwa district, the police said on Friday.
Two people have been arrested in connection with the incident that happened on Thursday night in Jharkhand's Narayanpur village, while a search is on to arrest the rest, they said.
"The incident happened around 10 pm. Soon after receiving information, a team was sent to the village and it was found that around 50 people were present at the spot. Two people were caught while the others fled," Subdivisional Police Officer Brahmin Tutti told news agency PTI.
"The police first provided clothes to the women and the man, following which they brought the two accused -- Ravi Kumar and Vasudev -- to the Sadar police station," he said.
Strict action will be taken against those involved in the incident, the officer said.
The women and the man were stripped and thrashed after two daughters of one Bali Rajwar, a resident of the village, fell sick, police said.
Bali Rajwar's family members along with Vikas Kumar Saw, Bablu Ram, Rajad Paswan, Ravi Kumar Ram and Raju Ram, among others, allegedly stripped the three women, thrashed them and then paraded them throughout the area, according to the case lodged by the police.
Some villagers tried to intervene and stop the group but they were verbally abused and threatened, the police said.
Narayanpur's ward councilor Sivasagar Das said that he also tried to pacify the mob but no one paid any heed to him.
"We have information that around 50 people were involved in the incident and a search is on for them," said Rajiv Kumar, the inspector in-charge of the Sadar police station.
"The culprits will not be spared under any circumstances. Those on the run will be arrested soon," he said.