The problems with superstition in India are showing no signs of abating. It has now been discovered that an illegal court in the Birbhum district of West Bengal ordered that all a man’s fingers be removed so to stop him practising black magic.

The forty-two year old, named as Fandi Sardar, was admitted to Burdwan Medical College Hospital in West Bengal on Tuesday night having had all eight fingers and both thumbs chopped off. Hospital staff alerted the police when the man said he’d been mutilated as a punishment dolled out by a ‘kangeroo’ court.

Police arrest black magic accusers, including the victim’s own son

Upon questioning the man, the police swooped to a few addresses in Birbhum and promptly arrested five men. It is believed that one of those arrested was the victim’s own son.

Fandi’s condition – which upon his arrival was deemed as critical due to excessive bleeding – improved overnight thanks to the care provided by the medical team at the hospital. He told police that a neighbour had held a grudge against him, and it was he whom had originated the completely unsubstantiated claims that Fandi, a labourer, was practising black magic.

Black magic rumours believed circulated by a neighbour with a grudge

The neighbour managed to convince several people in the local area that any recent illnesses they had suffered from had originated from Fandi’s premises. These claims snowballed and en masse they approached their local baba (religious head) with claims that Fandi was practising witchcraft.

Fandi was subsequently summoned before a hastily-convened court and convicted of practicing black magic. Initially he was sentenced to death, but subsequently that order was reduced to the horrific removal of the man’s fingers.

It is believed that the villagers have now disposed of the victim’s digits, and the weapon that was used to remove them.

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