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FIR against villagers for branding woman witch’

JAIPUR: An FIR has been registered against a few residents of a village in Dungarpur for branding a woman as witch and severely beating her and her husband. The woman claimed that the villagers were forcing them to leave the place saying that her presence was having an evil effect on the village. The police are searching for the accused.

The incident took place in Padardi Mewada village of Bichhiwada police station in the district. “A group of villagers barged into the house of one Kawa Varhat on Sunday night and started beating him him and his wife,” a police officer said.

He added that the woman was dragged and humiliated. “They abused the couple. They alleged that the woman possesses some evil spirit. They said that she and her husband would have to leave the village immediately. They threatened to get stricter action against the family if they did not follow the instructions,” said the officer.

“We have registered an FIR against six persons. Further investigation is on,” said the officer.

In fact, such incidents of torturing women after branding them as witch’ are on the rise in the state.

A fortnight ago, another woman from Ajmer district had lodged an FIR with the police in which she claimed that she was being mentally tortured and harassed by some residents who wanted her to leave the village.

The villagers had also ordered her expulsion from the society by claiming that she is a dayan (witch) and possesses evil spirit.

“Most of these cases happen when people want to grab the property of the women who are branded witches,” said a senior police officer.

The women and child development department has proposed a stringent law against the practice of branding women as witches.

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