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Branding and Lynching of Women as “Witches” Increasing in India

November 2, 2012

October 28, 2012

On October 18, 2012, three women in the West Midnapore district of Bengal were brutally gang lynched by men in their village who claimed they were “witches.”

According to the National Crime Record Bureau data, since 2008, 768 women have been murdered for practicing witchcraft. These are however only the reported cases.

The number of killings of women as “witches” is increasing each year and spreading to regions that never saw this custom before.  A Zee Research Group (ZRG) analysis shows that states like Karnataka and Chhattisgarh that reported zero and eight “witch” murders respectively in 2010 have shown a disturbing increase in just one year. While Karnataka reported an 77 cases in 2011, Chattisgarh increased from eight to 17 cases in 2011.

Professor Bula Bhadra, a sociologist from Kolkata says, “We see that women who are widow or estranged are the favourite targets for the culprits who kill women in the allegedly for Witch hunting as the society believes that women who are self sustained have no right to live and so, all their property and belonging should be easily snatched from them by giving an excuse of Witch hunting.” Full report here

For other newspaper reports of incidents of violence against women and girls in India CLICK HERE

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