RAJBIRA,  July 27

Two women of a family were beaten black and blue on the charge of practising witchcraft at Parsahi, Madhepura VDC-6, in Saptari yesterday night.

The victims are: Maya Devi Mandal, 60, and her 26-year-old daughter-in-law Rita Devi Mandal. The duo was thrashed by their neighbours.

They are receiving treatments at Gajendra Narayan Singh Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital in Rajbiraj. Their bodies are covered with bruises. Rita Devi had to receive six stitches on her head, while her mother-in-law Maya Devi has deep injuries on her chest and leg, said doctors involved in their treatment.

According to Maya Devi, their neighbours approached their house and started to thrash them suddenly accusing them of witchery.

Ram Prasad Mandal, a local, his wife Chhutahari Devi, sons Shiva and Sashi, and Anardevi and Ashadevi had attacked them with sticks and rained blows on them. “They beat us until we lost consciousness,” complained the woman.

Shiva Mandal’s two-year-old daughter had died after she drowned in the local pond a month ago. After this the shaman had told Mandal that the family was suffering due to a spell that had been cast.

Maya Devi’s husband Abadh Bihari said Mandal had assaulted his wife and daughter in-law after the shamans accused them of practising witchery. “It was a plot to tarnish the image of my family,” argued Abadh. He filed an FIR at District Police Office on Monday demanding stern action against Mandal’s family for their misbehaviour.