Wednesday, 18 May 2016

This Is Not Good! Woman Tied To A Post And Whipped To Death After Villagers Accused Her Of Being A Witch

File photo

A 45-year-old woman, Sambari Tudu, was whipped to death by a lynch mob in India's West Bengal after villagers accused her of being a witch. According to Daily Mail, Sambari Tudu was dragged from her home by fellow villagers before they tied her to a post, thrashed her and left her to die. Eight people have been arrested in connection with her death, and further raids are being carried out, local police said.

A number of her neighbours in Debra, West Midnapore had fallen ill, for which their families blamed Ms Tudu. They went to the village elders and accused Ms Tudu of witchcraft, Zee News reports. The village elders held a 'trial' where Ms Tudu was not present, and sentenced her to death.

A senior district police officer said Ms Tudu was dragged from her house by some locals late Monday night, after which she was tied up and whipped until she 'slumped to the ground'. The attackers left her still tied to the post, and she died soon after. 

In recent years, there have been numerous reports of women being branded witches in villages across central, eastern and northeastern states. In 2013 alone, there were 160 murders linked to witch hunts, but the unofficial figures are believed to be higher. 

A belief in witchcraft is prevalent among India's indigenous population, who make up more than eight per cent of the country's 1.3billion population. Many inhabit remote villages, eking out a living from farming, cattle rearing and selling forest produce.

Campaigners say a combination of patriarchy, poverty, a lack of education and poor law enforcement allows witch-branding to continue.

Women can be accused of witchcraft following illnesses, deaths or poor crops, but activists say there is often a motive behind the murders, such as a dispute or an intention to acquire the woman's land or other assets. 

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