PATNA: Police have arrested 11 persons, including the witch doctor, after two women were tortured and made to consume human excreta on the suspicion of being “witches” in Jharkhand state.
Soon after the incident came to light, a team of police rushed to Dulami village in Ranchi, capital of Jharkhand state, on Friday and conducted massive raids, looking for the accused persons. After an extensive search operation, the police team arrested 11 villagers who were involved in meting out inhume treatment to the poor women.
The police are still camping at the village keeping in view the tension prevailing at the village.
According to the police, one of the arrested persons include Misiria Puran, the witch doctor who is alleged to have branded the women “witches” and blamed the ladies for death of a woman at the village.
Jharkhand chief minister has expressed deep anguish over the incident saying such incident won’t be tolerated at any cost. “Such incident is a blot on the face of humanity. It’s won’t be tolerated at any cost. Tortures in the name of superstition will not be allowed and the government is trying hard to check it,” chief minister Raghubar Das told the media on Saturday.
According to police, the victims identified as Karo Devi, 65 and her daughter Basanti Devi, 35, were dragged out of their homes on Thursday morning and were presented before a village court at which they were branded as “witches”. Subsequently, they had their heads shaven and were also forced to consume human excreta.
“They (villagers) dragged us out of our home and then dirtied our clothes with night soil before forcing us to consume it too. They told us we are witches,” the victims told the media on Friday.
Subsequently, they were taken to a local river where their bangles were broken. They were then told discard the clothes they were wearing and take a dip in the river. They were given new white clothes—which are symbols of widowhood in Hindu mythology—to wear before allowing them to go to home.
According to an official report, altogether 183 women have been killed in Jharkhand in the past four years over witchcraft allegations. The shocking revelation came when the home ministry informed the Rajya Sabha in December last year. Of them, 42 women were killed in the state 2017 itself, according to the report.
Authorities have sought for launching an intensive awareness drive in the areas to contain such witchcraft killings. “Such incidents are taking place despite the laws already in the place to tackle them. There is an urgent need to train the village council members and launch an extensive awareness drive in the society,” said Ajay Kumar, a NGO official.
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