Three women were allegedly stripped and paraded naked on a village road in Odisha's Sundargarh district on the suspicion of practicing witchcraft, police said on Tuesday.
The shocking incident took place at Ambapada village under the jurisdiction of Talasara police station yesterday after which three persons were arrested, they said.
The victims were dragged out of their houses and assaulted by some villagers who stripped them and blackened their faces before parading them on the village road in full view of the villagers.
A meeting was held later where the women were accused of practicing witchcraft. Meanwhile, some locals informed the police about the incident.
The women were subsequently rescued from the village when a police party led by R N Padhi, Inspector In-Charge (IIC) of Talasara police station reached the site and took control of the situation.
“We have arrested three persons in this connection,” said SP (Sundargarh) Sanjeeb Arora.
He said the villagers were trying to settle the issue amongst themselves when police personnel reached the village, rescued the women and arrested the three persons.
“I have instructed the IIC, Talasara to investigate into the whole issue," the SP said.
R N Padhi, the investigating officer and IIC of Talasara said the arrested persons were identified as Prafulla Barla, Ani Baa and Sanjam Soren.
Nine years ago, in a similar incident, a woman was stripped and paraded on a village road. She was forced to eat excreta at Tainsar.
This had created countrywide outrage as representatives from National Commission for Women and the state visited the spot and took stock of the situation. Four persons were arrested in connection, sources said.