Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress-led UDF government in Kerala on Thursday said it plans to bring forward a legislation to curb black magic and launch a massive awareness campaign against superstition in the wake of recurrence of tragic sorcery cases.
Replying to a calling attention motion in the Assembly on the need to enact legislation in this regard, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said a draft of the bill has already been prepared and further steps on the matter would be taken soon.
However, a legislation alone would not put an end to these practices and so an awareness campaign against improper practices and exorcism was necessary. "I appeal to all political parties and youth organisations in the state to take up this challenge," he said.
Chennithala brought to the notice of the House the recent death of two girls due to the practice of black magic and said 'it is a shame to the state'.
He also said government would consider if a bill on the lines of the Anti-Superstition bill in Maharashtra could be taken up.
The minister urged the media to stop carrying advertisements promoting superstition and improper practices and cited one such example which said wearing of a particular ring with stone would enable the person gain wealth.
Chennithala also said government would strictly monitor those who practice sorcery.
Taking up the issue, Shafi Parambil (Congress) wanted the government to take stringent action against those indulge in these type of activities and if necessary, launch an operation to crack down on them.
Women are often victims of such obsolete practices as seen in some cases reported in Kerala recently.
The recent death of two girls, one in Kollam and another in Pathanamthitta, allegedly due to physical and mental torture suffered during black magic performed to rid them of being possessed, had triggered widespread protests in the state.
Exploitation in the name of black magic to find hidden treasures, solve family disputes and for child birth are on the rise in the state.