The Jharkhand High Court on Monday took suo-motto cognizance of the witch-hunting incident in a village under Mandar police station where five women were allegedly killed by the villagers at the midnight on Friday, seeking a report from the state government regarding the steps taken to create awareness to remove superstition among the people.
The court also termed superstition as the root cause behind such instances which needs to be removed from the society to check the menace of witchcraft from the society.“The court while hearing of the case, observed that Jharkhand Legal Services Authority along with the State Government and other agencies, working on the issue, will have to work harder to remove superstition from the society so that such matters do not take place in future again,” said Additional Advocate General Ajit Kumar.
Kumar further said that the court has asked the state government to file an affidavit depicting the measures taken by it in order to create an awareness to remove superstition from the society.“The court also directed JHALSA and State Government to work together so that fact could be established after removing superstition among the people of the area,” said Kumar. Schemes and programmes already being run by the state government and JHALSA also need to be augmented, enlarging their scope, Kumar added.
Notably, five women were killed at Maray Toli village of Ranchi, merely 45 kilometres from the state capital, reportedly on the allegations of witchcraft.
The five women have been identified as Jasintha Toppo (55), Madni Khalkho (55), Etwariya Khalkho (50), Rakiya Khalkho (70) and Titri Khalkho (45). Police said that Etwariya Khalkho was dragged out of her home by villagers on Friday on the allegations of practicing black magic. After she gave names of four other women, the villagers dragged them all and beat them to death with sticks.