Rajasthani woman tortured with pincers to ‘free her from evil spirit’
An alleged case of witchcraft has emerged in the Bhilwara district, where a 35-year-old woman was beaten with grills and seared with pliers in the name of freeing her from an evil spirit, police said Saturday.
A Bhilwara police officer said the incident occurred on November 21. An FIR was registered under section 341 (undue restraint), 323 (willfully causing heart) and 34 (criminal act committed by multiple persons) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the law. Rajasthan Law for the Prevention of Witch Hunting.
In her statement to the police, the victim said that she, along with her relatives, had gone to visit a sorcerer in the Chalaniya village of the district. “When I arrived at the scene, my sister-in-law and other people forcibly pushed me towards the sorcerer. I objected, but failed. Then, together with the accused and his assistants, they beat me with bars, cauterized me with tongs in the name of freeing the spirit from my body and brutally tortured me, ”the victim’s statement reads.
He added that the defendant also took 5,000 rupees from him in the name of worshiping a local deity and freeing the spirit. “The defendants’ aides threatened me with repercussions if I reported to the police,” he said.
“Because of the beating I was horrified and passed out. The next day, my relatives who had brought me to the sorcerer took me home. I wanted to inform my husband, who was out of town, about the incident, but the sorcerer had taken my phone. My husband came home after a few days. When he called my number, he received an answer from the sorcerer that I am sleeping and that I will be back home in a few days, ”said the victim.
Shahpura Additional Police Superintendent Vimal Singh said police have registered a case against the brother-in-law, the victim’s sister-in-law and others.
“We are sensitively investigating the case and doing everything possible to catch the escaped defendants,” Singh added.
More research is underway.
According to the Rajasthani Act for the Prevention of Witch Hunt 2015, “witch”, known locally as “dayan”, “dakan”, “dakin”, means a woman, who has been identified by anyone who believes who is in possession of, or have, any evil power to cause any harm to any person or property.
Occult practices involve pulling women’s hair, hitting them with a broom, iron rod, and tongs, and dancing in front of them chanting unintelligible phrases to “free” them.