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Homicide over the superstition of practising black magic: A case report

Authors:

R. Singh ,

Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, Punjab, IN
About R.
Department of Forensic Medicine
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K. Pramod

Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, Punjab, IN
About K.
Department of Forensic Medicine
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Abstract

Introduction: Killing of people practicing or suspected of practicing black magic which is also known as “witch- hunting” is not uncommon in India. People believe that any tragedy or misfortune that may befall them like, damaged crops, epidemics, sudden and unexplained deaths of children is the work of evil ‘witches’. We report a case where a person was murdered due to the belief that he was practicing black magic or witchcraft.

 

Case report: A dead body of a 60-year-old male was brought by the police for autopsy to a tertiary care center. It was alleged that he was assaulted by a sharp weapon. The alleged assailant was the neighbor of the deceased who believed that the deceased used black magic to cause the death of his four year old child a few months before. Autopsy revealed multiple incised wounds mainly on the back of the head, with compound fracture of occipital bone leading to intracranial and intracerebral bleeding.

 

Conclusion: This case illustrates a homicide caused by superstition as a motive. Multiple sharp blows to the head, proves adequate intention and knowledge by the accused to kill. As this kind of belief or superstition about black magic is more prevalent in less educated persons, the need arises to raise awareness about witchcraft and other superstitious activities. We propose that it can be included as a subject in schools to change the beliefs of society on superstition and related activities.
How to Cite: Singh, R. and Pramod, K., 2022. Homicide over the superstition of practising black magic: A case report. Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law, 13(2), pp.23–27. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljfmsl.v13i2.7908
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Published on 16 Dec 2022.
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