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Woman Accused Of Being Witch Tortured To Death In Ajmer, Perpetrators Told To Take 'Holy Dip'

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
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| August 14 , 2017 , 09:14 IST

A 40-year-old Dalit woman in Rajasthan's Ajmer district was horrifyingly tortured before she succumbed to her injuries and died. The punishment meted out to the perpetrators by the local panchayat merely told the accused to take a holy dip and arrange a tractor-load of fodder for cows. Justice prevailed in the end as 5 accused were arrested on Sunday.

In the Kadera village near Kekri in Ajmer, a widow, Kanya Devi was branded a witch, beaten up with iron chains, paraded naked through the village, made to eat faeces, dragged by her hair, forced to lie on a bed of burning embers which were then shoved into her eyes blinding her. Kanya passed away from her injuries the next day.  

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The matter reached the village panchayat who absolved the accused and asked them to take a holy dip in Pushkar and to arrange a tractor-load of fodder for cows. The panchayat threatened the victim's family with a social boycott if the matter was reported to the police.

Despite the threats, Kanya's son and daughter went to the police and lodged an FIR under Indian Penal Code Sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) as well as sections 3 (prohibition of witch-hunting), 4 (punishment for witch-hunting) and 7 (punishment for unnatural death of a woman subjected to witch-hunting) of The Rajasthan Prevention of Witch-Hunting Act, 2015.

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“She was badly tortured. The accused have admitted to forcing her to eat faeces, lashing and burning her. Five of the six accused, booked for murder and under relevant sections of the Rajasthan Prevention of Witch Hunting Act, have been arrested,” said Ajmer Superintendent of Police Rajendra Singh.

According to an activist who works with women branded as witches, the real reason behind the torture of Kanya Devi was property. Since her husband had passed away and her son was a minor, her husband's relatives were trying to grab her 8 bigha land.