Bihar woman lynched for practising witchcraft

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A tribal woman was branded a witch and lynched in a village in Bihar’s Katihar district following a panchayat directive, police said on Friday.

Five villagers were arrested in this connection, a district police official said.

Sanjita Devi was beaten to death in Kauwakol Adivasitola in Katihar on Thursday after a panchayat ordered to punish her, the official said.

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“A meeting of villagers decided to punish the victim, who was accused of practicing witchcraft, and after that villagers beat her to death despite her husband opposing them.”

The practice of branding women as witches and torturing them — often to death — continues unabated in rural areas of Bihar.

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A few years ago, the Bihar Human Rights Commission directed the state government to expedite the probe and trial in cases related to offences under the Prevention of Witch Hunting Act, 1999.

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