A Christian teenager in India was murdered after being accused of practicing witchcraft.
15-year-old Samaru Madkami , a member of India’s marginalized Tribal community lived in the village of Kenduguda in Malkangiri district, located in the state of Odisha.
“He was taken from his home on the night of June 4 and killed by men of his own village,” Father Dibyasingh Parichha – the director of the Justice, Peace, Development and Communication Commission of the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar – told Crux.
The priest said Madkami belonged to a family that had recently converted to Christianity and faced hostility, scorn and ridicule by the villagers because of their Christian faith. The family is one of three Christian homes in the village, which has about 14 families belonging to the Koya tribal group.
Unga Madkami, the boy’s father, filed a report with the police the next day, and six people were arrested on June 5. on the next day, which prompted a quick investigation by the local police. The accused confessed to killing the boy because they suspected him of ‘witchcraft’ and held him responsible for several deaths in their village.
“This Tribal boy was not practicing witchcraft, these are false and baseless allegations,” said Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswa.
“He was just a teenager; besides, two others were called by the locals on the night of June 4th on the pretext of a meeting,” he told Crux. “They were taken to the outskirts of the Kenduguda village, Malkangiri district, the men tried to kill all the three. While two managed to escape, Samaru was battered to death, on accusations of practicing witchcraft.”
The archbishop noted the village is in a remote area hear the border with the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.’
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