An elderly Dalit woman was allegedly beaten to death by two men in a village in Agra, early on 2 August.
The woman, 65-year-old Mandevi, was allegedly lynched at Mutnai village in Agra’s Dauki police station area by brothers Manish and Sonu, who suspected her of chopping off women’s braids in the area, police was quoted as saying.
Police believe the incident is connected to cases in Delhi and Gurgaon, where women have complained of having their braids mysteriously chopped off. However, no such “braid-chopping” incident has been reported yet in Dauki village.
The brothers attacked the woman when she had gone to relieve herself, her son Manoj alleged in a complaint, the Indian Express reported.
Tejveer Singh, Fatehabad Circle Officer told the Indian Express: “The autopsy report of Mandevi stated there were abrasion marks on her head and hands”.
The cause of death stated in the post-mortem report is heart failure.
Manoj told the Times of India that the perpetrators were upper-caste ‘Baghel’ men. He alleged that the men beat up his mother after calling her a witch, and that they continued to assault her despite her pleas for mercy.
Indian Express reported that following the brutal attack, Mandevi was taken to a district hospital around 30 km from Dauki village by the police. Circle Officer Tejveer Singh told the daily:
After the medical examination was completed and the victim was being brought back in an ambulance, she died.
The victim’s son reportedly filed an FIR against the suspected perpetrators, following the news of his mother’s death. No motive behind the murder was ascribed, the circle office was quoted as saying.
Police will take action against people who are circulating a false story that the elderly woman was murdered because people suspected her to be ghost who chopped off women’s braids.
Dinesh Chandra Dubey, SSP of Agra to Indian Express