'Witch doctors' convicted in Rautahat child's murder

HETAUNDA: Hetaunda Appellate Court on Tuesday sentenced life imprisonment with confiscation of all properties on two persons for killing a three-year-old child "in order to master the witchcraft practice".

A division bench of Judge duo Kumar Prasad Pokharel and Sarita Sharma delivered the sentence to Mahawa Devi Yadav aka Mahadevi and shaman Chhabi Lal Raya from Simanpur-8 of Rautahat.

On May 19, 2012, Mahawa Devi had beheaded Nitesh Yadav from Manpur-9 of Sarlahi in order to offer the head to a god thereby to gain mastery over the discipline.

Mahawa Devi had trashed the chopped head in the nearby Bagmati River and buried the body in her worship room.

Nitesh was son of Mahawa Devi's sister-in-law.

On April 16, 2013, the Rautahat District Court had sentenced Mahawa Devi to life in prison with confiscation of all properties while the shaman, Rai, however, was acquitted of the crime.

But, the upper court observed that it was the shaman's plan to do so.