Shimla: It’s a sad reality that superstition is driving villagers in India to brand women as witches. In one such recent instance, an 81-year-old woman in a village near Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla was assaulted on the suspicion of being a witch.

The incident took place in Samahal village of gram panchayat Gahar of Sarkaghat subdivision of Mandi district on Saturday and came into limelight only when the video of the assault went viral on social media.

In the video, villagers are seen smearing black polish on the woman’s face and garlanding her with shoes on the suspicion that she practiced sorcery.

That wasn’t the end of the assault. The villagers then dragged her in front of the local deity chariot in the village and also destroyed her belongings and smashed the windows of her house.

After the video went viral, the police swung into action and arrested twenty-one people.

”We have arrested 21 people in this regard and further investigation is on, Mandi Superintendent of Police Gaurav Sharma told PTI.

When the elderly woman’s family was interrogated, her daughter told the police that she had lodged a police complaint on October 23, fearing that such an incident might happen.

Acting on her complaint, a policeman had even visited the village the next day, however, she was pressurized to withdraw it by locals.