A NINE-year-old boy’s body was kept in a coffin and left inside his family home by his parents for nine days in Western province last month.
The boy’s parents believed that their son had died as a result of witchcraft after he was bitten by a snake while returning from school.
Daru provincial police commander Chief Insp Peter Philip said that when received information about this, he warned the parents to bury their son or face charges.
He said the boy’s parents claimed that a sorcerer had turned into a snake and attacked the boy over a land dispute among family members and that were convinced their son would come back from the dead.
However, he was buried the day after the police warning.
Chief Insp Philip said witchcraft was becoming a concern for the province, with a growing number being reported to the police.
He said he had repeatedly told the community to change their attitude and beliefs regarding such allegations for their own benefit.
Chief Insp Philip said complaints that were brought into the station should be accompanied with evidence to substantiate their claims so they could be able to lay charges under the sorcery laws.
He said the community was a very peaceful and healthy community but people still lived in fear of such practices and often locking their doors very early in the evenings for fear of being attacked by witchcraft.