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Chhattisgarh: Woman Made To Walk on Burning Coal, Iron Nails To Prove She Didn't Practise Witchcraft

On the night of March 20, when the woman's husband was away, her relatives allegedly took her to a tantrik in Kailash Nagar and asked her to prove that she did not indulge in black magic.

Witchcraft (Representative image)
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A woman was allegedly made to walk on burning coal and iron nails in Chhattisgarh's Durg town by the relatives of her husband to prove that she did not practise black magic. According to the police, the woman sustained burns on her legs and was hospitalised due to the injuries.

The incident took place in Kailash Nagar area of the town on March 20, an official told PTI. Two women and a man have been arrested for the act, while a minor boy, who claimed to be a tantrik (occultist), was detained.

Talking to PTI, the victim, Mamta Nishad claimed that the tantrik had made her walk 12 times on burning coal and nine times on a bed of iron nails.

She alleged that her husband's younger brother, his wife and her elder sister-in-law used to harass her on a regular basis and accuse her of being involved in witchcraft.

On the night of March 20, when her husband was away, the trio allegedly took her to a tantrik in Kailash Nagar and asked her to prove that she did not indulge in black magic, she told the agency.

Women in rural and tribal areas of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, among other parts of India, are often branded as “witches”. Outlook has previously reported on the practice of witch-hunting, which is not just a gendered problem but a social malaise with the underlying factors that perpetuate it.

The victim informed her husband about the ordeal, following which a police complaint was lodged. A case under sections 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Chhattisgarh Tonhi Pratadna Nivaran Act has been registered, City Superintendent of Police (CSP) of Durg area Vaibhav Banker said.

The victim, however, raised questions about the police action as the accused were granted bail by a local court.

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