ANI (India), Nov. 3, 2004
[India News]: Siliguri, Nov 3 : A 70-year-old woman Nagasia was killed in Siliguri yesterday by two youths of her village on the suspicion of being a witch.
Bihani was beaten to death by two youths Sibon and Dhutu of her village. Both the accused charged the woman of allegedly practising witch craft. After being beaten mercilessly, she was taken to the hospital. She sustained major injuries, and died a day after being admitted in the hospital.
Witch hunting is a common practice in backward areas. Whenever an outbreak of some disease occurs or more than one person dies, aged women are held responsible for practicing some wicked tricks.
"They thought that she was a witch and killed her. Both the killers live here only. I don't know who is a witch, you should ask them who killed Bihani", said Maghnath Nagasia, son of the deceased.
Fate of the women, who is being accused of wicked practices is decided by the chief of the village. The administration claims that these types of incidents occur because of lack of proper education.
"Police on reaching the spot found that two guys were assaulting a 70 year old woman. We caught hold of the two accused and started a case against them. The lady was then taken to the hospital and a day after she died. We have started a case," Siliguri DSP Joy Biswas said.
In order to create awareness among the villagers about these kinds of practices, the administration has organised many street plays but the result is not upto the mark. In the last five years, 93 people have been killed, accused of practicing witchcraft in Jalpaiguri district alone.