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`200 women branded witches, killed every year`

Nearly 150 to 200 women are killed every year in India after being tagged as `witches`, a Dehra Dun based NGO has said citing National Crime Bureau statistics.



Dehra Dun: Nearly 150 to 200 women are
killed every year in India after being tagged as `witches`, a
Dehra Dun based NGO has said citing National Crime Bureau
statistics.

Jharkhand tops the list with 50-60 witchcraft-related
murders every year followed by Andhra Pradesh where the number
is around 30, Haryana 25-30 and Orissa 24-28, Rural Litigation
and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK) chairman Avdhash Kaushal
claimed.

Jharkhand is not the only state where women are facing
barbaric attacks in the name of witchcraft; such incidents are
common in Orissa, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana,
Kaushal said.

In the past 15 years, more than 2,500 women were killed after
being accused of practicing witchcraft, according to a study
conducted by RLEK.

Five women were stripped and paraded naked last year in
Patharghatia village in Deodhar district of Jharkhand.

In yet another incident, a 40-year old woman was lynched
allegedly by her women neighbours at Sikariatand village in
Simdega district of the same state, Kushal claimed.

"It is very sad that women are still being killed
rampantly after being declared witches. Majority of these
incidents are not reported in the media," Kaushal, a recipient
of Padam Shri, said.

He said in order to overcome the menace a national
legislation was needed.

"We will soon file a writ petition in the court of law to
seek a remedy in the form of a new legislation from Parliament
on the issue," he said.

PTI

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