HYDERABAD, India (Reuters) - An elderly Indian husband and wife were burnt to death after villagers accused them of practicing black magic, tied them together on a pyre and set them on fire, police said Thursday.
“The aged couple died screaming for help,” said police superintendent P.V. Sunil Kumar.
Sayanna, 70, and his 61-year-old wife, Pochamma, were set ablaze after being doused with kerosene.
Both were farm laborers near the southern city of Hyderabad who also practiced traditional medicine. Police have arrested six villagers for the incident.
Belief in black magic is common in some parts of rural India, despite the country’s robust economic growth and cutting-edge high-technology industries.
Dozens of women are murdered each year after being accused of witchcraft.
Last year, a barber in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh killed his four-year-old son by slitting his throat with a razor after the man started seeing visions of the Hindu goddess Kali demanding a sacrifice.