Jaipur, Aug 21 (IANS)A 50-year old woman in Rajasthan’s Ajmer district approached the police Tuesday accusing her neighbours of branding her a witch and beating up her and her daughter, officials said.
A first information report (FIR) has been registered against some half a dozen people on the basis of the complaint of Bhuri Devi, a resident of Kajipur village near Kekari town in the district, some 150 km from Jaipur, they added.
“Bhuri Devi said that about half a dozen people from houses in her neighbourhood barged into her house Monday night and started abusing her. They claimed that she was a witch and was casting evil spells on others in the village,” said a police officer.
In her statement, Bhuri Devi said that she and her 20-year old daughter were severely beaten up. “She says that her neighbours threatened to kill her if she did not leave the village soon,” the officer added.
“It seems the neighbours want to grab her property. We have registered the case against the neighbours,” said the officer.
Several cases of women being branded witches and harassed have been reported in the state recently.
The state government has drafted a bill to curb this. According to the draft Rajasthan Women (Prevention and Protection from Atrocities) Bill, 2011, a crime would be considered to have been committed when any person or community intentionally or inadvertently abets, conspires, aids and instigates the identification of a woman as a witch, leading to her mental and physical torture and humiliation.
The bill has proposed a maximum of seven years’ imprisonment and fine for those who grab property of such women.