Witchcraft claims lives of 4 women in Jharkhand

Ministry says real motive behind killings was usurpation of helpless women's movable and immovable property.

Written by Agencies | Ranchi | Published:May 12, 2012 4:10 pm

Four women have been brutally killed in a span of just over a month in Jharkhand due to the practice of witchcraft in remote areas.

On March 10,throats of Sushil Oraon and Jhibi Oraon were slit in Lohardaga’s Lawagai village,while on April 16 the head of Budhva Mahali was severed and his wife Etwari Mahali suffered a macabre death at Haslata village in Gumla district.

The police said the killings were the result of witchcraft being practised widely in the remote villages of Jharkhand.

The police’s contention was corroborated by a recent survey which found that 1,157 murders,committed between 1991 and 2010,were due to the evil practice.

Since 2001,there exists a law in the state “Jharkhand Dayan Pratha (witchcraft) Act” to control the crime,but it has been proved more effete than effective.

According to an official report of the Jharkhand Social Welfare Ministry,mostly widows,single women and families with no male members fall victims to these arcane beliefs.

The ministry pointed out that the real motive behind the killings was usurpation of the helpless women’s movable and immovable property.

Jharkhand Social Welfare Minister Bimla Pradhan said Rs 20 lakh was earmarked this fiscal to organize workshops,publicity campaigns through the Jharkhand Information and Public Relations Department in an effort to weed out

witchcraft.

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