Posted on July 24, 2007

Woman Stripped After Being Branded Witch In Jharkhand (New Delhi), July 23, 2007

A women was stripped and brutally beaten with hot iron rods after she was branded a witch and held responsible for the death of a woman in a Jharkhand village, police said Monday.

The incident came to light only after a week when the woman from Dadighagar in Hazaribagh district, about 130 km from here, approached some local reporters Sunday.

Basdeo Manjhi said 45-year-old Chandmuni Devi had used black magic against his wife who died of snakebite on July 14. He complained to the panchayat that ordered that Chandmuni be stripped and beaten with hot rods and sickles.

Chandmuni and her husband braved threats and filed a police complaint against six people five days later. But the police did not take any action either and the couple approached the media for help.

Witch-hunt cases are rampant in Jharkhand. More than 600 people, mostly women, have been killed in last 10 years after they were charged of practicing black magic.