A Dalit woman was beaten to death by two neighbours in an Agra village on Wednesday and police suspect the attack was connected to cases in Delhi and Gurgaon where women had said their braids had mysteriously been chopped off; reported Indian Express. Mandevi (65) was allegedly beaten to death at Mutnai village in the Dauki police station area of Agra on Wednesday morning. No case of braid chopping was reported from Dauki, the police said.

Police said it was rumoured in the village that brothers Manish and Sonu attacked Mandevi suspecting her to be a ghost who chopped off women’s braids. Police are searching for the two. Fatehabad circle officer Tejveer Singh said: “The autopsy report of Mandevi stated there were abrasion marks on her head and hands. The cause of death stated in the post-mortem report is heart failure.”

According to Tejveer Singh, the victim’s son Manoj stated in his complaint that on Wednesday early morning Mandevi went out of the house to relieve herself. When she was close to the house of the accused, they attacked her with sticks. They later dumped Mandevi close to her house.

The police sent Mandevi to a district hospital around 30 km from the village. “After the medical examination was completed and the victim was being brought back in an ambulance, she died,” Singh said. Later, Manoj lodged an FIR against Manish and Sonu. “In the complaint, the complainant did not give motive behind the murder,” the circle officer said. The SSP of Agra, Dinesh Chandra Dubey, said: “Police will take action against people who are circulating a false story that the elderly woman was murdered because people suspected her to be ghost who chopped off women’s braids.”