A 55-year-old woman was allegedly killed on the suspicion of practicing black magic at a village in tribal-dominated Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh, police said on Sunday.
Three persons were arrested and a minor was detained on Saturday in connection with the murder that took place in Jiling village on June 2, said Laxman Singh Dhruve, Station House Officer (SHO), City Kotwali police station.
Those arrested were identified as Anil Ram Bhagat, his brother Virendra Ram, his friend Santosh Ram and the minor, all natives of Jiling, he said.
On June 6, Jagir Ram Bhagat, son of the deceased woman identified as Chhandni Bai, had lodged a complaint with City Kotwali police that his mother was missing since June 2 night, the SHO said.
During the investigation, the four accused were interrogated and they confessed to have committed the crime, he said.
"On the night of June 2, Chhandni Bai was strangled to death by Bhagat with a rope when she was sitting alone outside her house.
Later with the support of three other accused, he packed the body in a sack and threw it into a dam of Neemgaon village," he said.
On June 7, when Bhagat noticed her body floating on the water surface, the accused then buried it in nearby farmland, he added.
The body was exhumed Saturday, after which the accused were held, he said.
"Bhagat believed that the woman practised black magic, which led to the death of his buffalo recently," the SHO said.
In 2015, Bhagat's pregnant wife had fallen from a bicycle following which she had a miscarriage.
Then, Bhagat and his brother had a brawl with Chhandni Bai, during which they accused her of practicing black magic against his wife, he said.
A case has been registered against all the accused under section 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and 34 (common intention) of IPC, the SHO said, adding that further probe is underway.