Woman, daughters attacked with sticks and axes on suspicion of practicing witchcraft
Though it is the 21st century crimes against women and superstitions do not seem to be abating. Women, especially in the rural areas of the country are still assaulted and tortured on account of being ‘dayans’ or witches. In a recent incident, a 42-year-old woman, Kanaben Bariya and her two minor daughters aged 12 and 17 were allegedly assaulted by their distant relatives on accusations of being a witch, The Indian Express reported.
It was reported that the incident took place in Vadodara’s Dabhva village in Dahod’s Sagtala taluka late at night on June 14, 2020. The next day, the victim’s mother filed an FIR against seven people from the same village in connection with the matter. The accused have been booked under Sections 143 (member of an unlawful assembly), 147 (Punishment for rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (2) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
According to the FIR, Kanaben and her daughters were working in their farm when the accused attacked them with sticks and axes, accusing Kanaben of being a witch and causing troubles in their families. They kept saying that it was because of her that their family members fell ill and cattle were dying. Her daughters, who tried to intervene and stop the assault, were also beaten up by the relatives.
Kanaben’s mother-in-law said she saw the alleged assault and rushed to inform her son. As she raised an alarm, other villagers came but didn’t help her. They instead threatened Kanaben to put an end to her witchcraft, and said that if she failed to do so, they would kill her and her daughters.
The police told IE, that the three were rushed to a health centre and then to the Godhra civil hospital where their condition was stable. Amar Punwar, the officer investigating the case told IE, “The families also had some old issues pertaining to a piece of land in the village. We are also investigating in that direction. So far no one has been arrested, investigations are underway.”
In a similar incident, last month three women were in Muzaffarpur were stripped, tonsured and forced to consume urine and human feces by a mob which suspected them of practicing black magic, The Print reported. The women who were hospitalized said that they were performing puja (rituals) for the ailing son of one of the women. Nine people had been arrested in the matter.
In another horrifying incident, in Odisha, Budhuram Singh decapitated his 60-year-aunt, Champa Singh, suspecting her to be a witch and holding her responsible for the death of his daughter. The man walked 13 kilometers with his aunt’s severed head to the local police station to surrender himself, reported Indiatimes. He was booked for murder by the police.
Courtesy : Sabrang