Indian Police Want to Display Severed Head in Museum

Patna, India - Police in eastern India want to display in a museum the head of a woman decapitated after she was accused of practicing witchcraft, hoping it will be a lesson for those who persecute innocent women.

A villager in Jharkhand state attacked the woman and chopped off her head at the weekend, apparently because he suspected her of being to blame for deaths in the family, police said. He then walked into the nearest police station holding the severed head.

"I think displaying this head in a museum will create a sensation in society and could be helpful in preventing people from taking to such heinous crimes," Sunit Kumar, a senior police officer, said from Jharkhand on Wednesday.

In rural India, villagers often accuse women of being witches and blame them for natural disasters or for an illness, death or theft.

Hundreds of them are killed every year and police say incidents often take a long time to come to light.