Man kills brother over land tensions, witchcraft

A Chhattisgarh villager was arrested Tuesday after he confessed to burning to death his elder brother who he suspected was involved in witchcraft, police said

Police believe that Ramesh Sahu, 40, who was arrested from the poverty-hit village of Sankri in Raipur district, about 60 km from here, also wanted to usurp his brother's land.

The incident took place Sunday.

"Ramesh Sahu has confessed to have burnt his elder brother, Shishupal Sahu, 45, at his village as he suspected that his brother was involved in witchcraft and wanted to usurp his land," police officer Anup Nag told reporters.

He said there had been tension between the two brother for three years over ownership of family land. Ramesh Sahu was convinced that his brother would grab his land through the power of witchcraft, the official said.

Crimes related to witchcraft in rural parts of the state are not new. In 2005, the Chhattisgarh government passed the Witchcraft (Prevention) Act to crack down on offenders. But the law has hardly made an impact in tribal and backward areas where atrocities and killings of those accused of witchcraft continue and the majority of cases go unreported.

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