A woman died after she was thrashed and set on fire after being branded a witch in Pachmah village in Bihar’s Gaya. The woman’s family was beaten as well during the incident that occurred on November 5.
After taking statements from her family and eyewitnesses, police have identified 68 accused and arrested 14 of them. The family has been provided with security and financial help, SSP Harpreet Kaur told ANI on Wednesday.
Gaya, Bihar | Incident happened on Nov 5. A woman was termed a witch & burnt to death, her family was beaten. Statements of family, eyewitnesses taken. 68 accused identified. 14 already arrested. Family provided security, financial help being given: SSP Harpreet Kaur (09.11)
— ANI (@ANI)
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Imamganj, Gaya, Manoj Ram, said the woman was burnt to death after villagers barged into her house.
“A woman died after she was set on fire by villagers, in Pachmah village in Gaya district, over suspicion of practising witchcraft. Villagers along with an occultist entered her house where she was lynched by them,” he told ANI.
A Hindustan Times report stated that police rushed to the scene only to find the body of the woman. It was later sent to Gaya for post-mortem.
According to the report, a case under sections 302 and 436 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and provisions of the Witchcraft Act was registered and nine women were arrested in the case initially, SSP Harpreet Kaur said.
As per the 2021 report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), witchcraft was the motive behind 68 killings in the country. Bihar was the first state to enact a law to prevent witchcraft, identification of a woman as a witch and eliminate torture, humiliation and killing of women.