Skeptic News: Panel wants action on 'witches' killing

From: NewsTrack India

 The Tripura Women’s Commission (TWC) Tuesday strongly condemned the killing of tribal women suspected of using witchcraft or black magic.

The TWC, a statutory body for the protection of women from all forms of atrocities and deprivation, in a statement demanded strict punishment for the perpetrators of such crimes.

Many people, mostly women, are killed every year in the northeastern states for allegedly practising sorcery and witchcraft, mostly in tribal-dominated areas of western and northern Assam and Tripura.

An elderly tribal woman was hacked to death Oct 28 at Jirania tribal village in western Tripura after she was branded as a sorceress.

According to people of the village, 35 km north of here, the killing was driven by superstitious beliefs.

TWC chairperson Purnima Bhattacharjee said in a statement: “Family members of the victim are currently living under serious traumatic situations and are apprehending further assaults.”

“During a preliminary probe, the TWC came to know that a village committee meeting declared the slain tribal woman as a witch and she was physically assaulted in the meeting itself. Her mutilated body was later found in a pool of blood and the relatives were forced to cremate it on the pressure of the killers.”

Police have arrested two people in connection with this incident.

Black magic, witchcraft and superstitious beliefs have been part of tribal customs in parts of Assam, Tripura and other northeastern states. Many tribal communities practise indigenous faiths and resort to such rituals in treating ailments in their communities.

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