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Commission seeks report on women branded 'witches'

Graphic: Commission headquarters, Delhi

The Commission has sought a report from the government of Rajasthan over the treatment of a group of women allegedly branded as witches.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the government of Rajasthan over a group of women being allegedly branded as witches in Bhilwara district.

The Commission has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report about the women.

The state authorities have allegedly not taken effective action against either the offenders or to curb this menace, an NHRC statement said.

"The contents of the news report, if true, raise serious violation of human rights of the hapless and helpless women in the state of Rajasthan," the Commission observed, while issuing notices to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police of the state for reports on the matter.

"They have been asked to indicate the action taken by the law enforcement in each such incident and the steps taken by the state authorities to address the issue," the statement said.

"Highlighting their difficulties, the media report says that most often widows or women without any family support had been branded as witches. Some of them were tortured brutally or even killed. Some of them were forced to leave their homes, and their properties were grabbed by powerful people."

Date: 13 June 2016

Source: National Human Rights Commission of India

Image credits

  1. Commission headquarters, Delhi - APF