In a shocking case of mob violence, a 40-year-old dalit woman was branded a witch, paraded naked, thrashed and forced to eat faeces in a village in Rajasthan’s Ajmer district. The barbarism just did not end there, she was then allegedly dragged by her hair and tortured with the smouldering coal.
The incident took place on August 3 in Kekri, a block around 135 km from the state capital, police said.
“Kanya Devi Raigar was branded a witch and severely tortured before being beaten to death, she was also made to eat faeces by her relatives,” Superintendent of Police (SP) of Ajmer, Rajendra Singh, said.
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On claims that the relatives had pierced her eyes with a hot rod, SP Singh said the body was cremated by the relatives and no post mortem could be conducted, “so it is proving difficult to ascertain these claims”.
According to Police, the local khap panchayat let off his mother’s killers with a token fine asking them to “wash off their sins” in Pushkar and arrange a tractor-load of fodder for cows.
The victim’s son said, his female cousin and her friend suddenly started behaving strangely and claimed that a spirit has entered their body. In that state, they claimed that his mother was a witch.
“They thrust hot coal in her hands and also hurt her in other places. They kept calling my mother a witch and refused to listen to her calls for mercy,” he told Hindustan Times.
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Meanwhile, police have arrested five of the six accused, booked them for murder under relevant sections of the Rajasthan Prevention of Witch Hunting Act. The accused included Kanya’s neice Pinky, nephew Mahaveer and neighbour Sonia.
“They claimed that they were asked by one Bhairon Baba to beat Kanya as she was a witch,” social activist Tara Ahluwalia told Indian Express.
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