News By YKA Staff:
A 55-year-old woman was lynched on the suspicion of practicing witchcraft at a village in Odisha’s Gajapati district, the police said on Thursday, March 31st.
Three persons of a family were arrested in this connection the day before, the police said.
The accused Surendra Jani (55), his son Rushinath (30) and nephew Somanath (25) allegedly killed Raibari Mandal of G. Bhalia Sahi village following the death of Surendra Jain’s other son due to some ailment on Tuesday, S.P. (Gajapati) S. Naik said.
Mandal’s son had lodged a police complaint against the trio stating that despite her repeated denial, the accused stabbed her with a sharp weapon.
She had died on the spot, the police said quoting him.
Lynching of individuals, especially women, on suspicion of being a witch was raised in the Parliament earlier this month. The government informed the Parliament that as many as 127 women were killed over similar suspicions in Jharkhand between the years 2012 to 2014.
The Indian Express reported that in August last year, five tribal women were lynched in a village in the capital city of Ranchi, leading to a condemnation by the Chief Minister Raghubar Das.
No less than 355 women were similarly lynched in Odisha between the years 2008 to 2014, according to a report.
The report stated that “widows and spinsters” were particularly vulnerable to such killings. It added, citing experts, that the reasons were mostly economic and sexual in nature. Similar incidents have been reported from the southern states as well.
As a remedial measure, Assam came up with an act to curb the practice, prescribing stringent punishment including life imprisonment and a hefty fine.
It is necessary that a similar law should be enacted at the central level to put an end to the heinous custom which puts women in a vulnerable spot for no fault of theirs and reinforces superstition and patriarchy.
With inputs from PTI.