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Suryakant Jena

Nayagarh: A woman was thrashed by some locals after she denied to accept theft charges at Udaypur village under Sadar police limits in the district yesterday.

Sources said that a gram sabha was called in the village two days ago after a local resident, Bhagban, alleged that an unidentified person had decamped with valuable gold jewelleries from his house. Later, villagers sought help of a local tantric (black magician) who used a cot to trace the thief.

The bizarre practice involves carrying of the cot by four people from one house to another and the thief is generally identified from the house near which the cot stops moving.

After failing to identify the thief for two days, the black magician on Saturday night declared the sister-in-law of the complainant as the accused.

As the tantric identified the woman to be the culprit, the local residents called for a village court to settle the case. During the hearing, the court directed the woman to deposit Rs 1.42 lakh as compensation to the complainant but when she refused to accept the charges, some local villagers beat the woman black and blue.

"A Kangaroo court was set up and our family was asked to pay Rs 1.42 lakh for a crime that we didn't commit," said husband of the woman.

While the woman has lodged a complaint over the incident, no comments could be obtained from the police in connection with the matter.

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