'127 women lynched on suspicion of witchcraft'

'127 women lynched on suspicion of witchcraft'

Jharkhand witnessed the lynching of 127 women, after branding them as witches in three years between 2012 and 2014 the Union Home Ministry informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

In a written reply in the Upper House, Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said cases under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Witchcraft Act have been registered against the accused.

According to the ministry that quoted a report of the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 26 such cases in 2012, while it doubled to 54, the next year, and 47 cases in 2014. All these cases were reported under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC.

One case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder was reported for witchcraft in 2013, the minister said.

“Continuous awareness programmes through print and visual media are being conducted. Help of NGOs in educating people on witchcraft-related superstition is being taken. Superintendents of police of all the districts of the state (Jharkhand) have been instructed to launch massive campaign to eradicate witchcraft related superstition and incidents,” Chaudhary said.

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