Monday, October 24, 2011

[ZESTCaste] 'Witch' stripped, beaten in Balasore

'Witch' stripped, beaten in Balasore
TNN | Oct 24, 2011, 01.00PM IST

BALASORE: Police on Sunday registered a case against some villagers of
Jharanaghati in Balasore district for allegedly stripping a Dalit
woman and beating her after accusing her of practising witchcraft.

Police said the residents of the tribal-dominated village, around 35
km from Balasore town, blamed Duli Hembram (40) for the recent death
of two fellow villagers. "The villagers believe that Duli practices
witchcraft and she was responsible for the recent deaths. Besides,
they claimed she has been creating disturbances in the village with
the help of one of her relatives whom the villagers believe is a
tantrik," said SDPO Siba Charan Mallick.

The villagers dragged the woman out of her house, stripped her in full
public view before thrashing her mercilessly even as she pleaded her

Duli alleged that the residents performed a puja in the village and
thereafter they ostracized her before asking to leave the village.
Traumatized and harassed, the woman has left for her parental house at
Kaptipada in Mayurbhanj district along with her husband and children.

In her FIR, Duli claimed that though she went to lodge a complaint
with Berhampur police, the officer concerned didn't take the report.
She later met the SDPO who asked the officer-in-charge to register a
case and investigate the allegation.

"The local sarpanch had later convened a meeting to convince villagers
that Duli did not practise witchcraft. The villagers were pacified and
agreed not to harass the woman again. But as she woman didn't feel
secure to stay in the village, we advised her to go to her parental
house for a few days," the SDPO said. "We have registered a case and
efforts are on to nab the accused persons who have been identified in
the FIR," he added.

A few months ago, two women were confined in a room by their fellow
villagers in Nilagiri area on the suspicion that their husbands were
involved in practising black magic.

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