City Reports

Accused of branding women witches, 7 ‘witch doctors’ arrested in Rajasthan

State DGP directs all the police districts in the state to take action against witch doctors

February 1, 2018, 1:29 pm

arrest

Representative Image.

  Jaipur: Rajasthan police has launched a campaign against witch doctors amid reports that they were involved in branding women witches and were operating with impunity despite being a strong law against the practice. There have been several instances of women being tortured inhumanly – even murdered after branded witches by these witch-doctors. Rajasthan director general of police (DGP) Ajit Singh Shekhawat had directed all the police districts in the state to take action against witch doctors. Police officials said that nearly seven people have been arrested so far and the drive will continue in the future. Police are keeping tab on such people in districts where the practice of branding women witches is most prevalent including Udaipur, Banswara, Bhilwara, Ajmer, Rajsamand, Chittoargarh and Baran. The latest case was reported in Udaipur district’s Bichala Kala village where a 70-year-old woman was beaten to death after a witch doctor branded her a witch and blamed her for the prolonged illness of a child living in her neighborhood. The victim was identified as Champa Devi. One Shankar Lal Meena approached a witch doctor when his son couldn’t recover from a prolonged illness. The witch doctor told him that Champa Devi was casting evil spells on the child. Infuriated Shankar and his family members alleged kidnapped the woman from her home and beat her to death.

First published: September 25, 2017