BIRGUNJ: A woman was thrashed to death by the locals at Supauli VDC in Parsa on the charge of practising witchcraft last night.
After a panchayat meeting of the village decided on Thursday morning to ostracise her, villagers took Jagan Chaudhary’s wife Parbati from Sadhitole at Supauli VDC out of her home and thrashed her to death. Jagan could do nothing, as he was pinned down by the villagers.
The village meeting had decided to expel 45-year-old Parbati from the village, accusing her of practising black magic to cast a spell on Jagadish Chaudhary’s daughter Pratima, who was sick.
After the village meeting, Parbati’s family was planning to leave the village at daybreak, but villagers had other plans.
DSP Basudev Khatiwada said villagers even tried to cremate her body to remove evidence.
After the police reached the incident site on Friday at 5 am, villagers told the police that a woman practising witchcraft had died and they would cremate her body. Inspector Shyam Krishna KC, who reached the incident site, said all the males had fled the village and no one was ready to speak on behalf of the victim.
Police have arrested Pratima’s mother Paspati Devi and daughters Sima Kumari and Renu Kumari for interrogation. Police have launched a manhunt to nab Jagadish Chaudhary, Pratima Kumari, Anil Raut, Bishram Chaudhary Tharu and Dhan Raj Tharu for their alleged involvement in the murder.
Human rights activists have expressed concern about the incident. Advocate Birendra Yadav said, “Such heinous crimes will continue unless harsh punishment is meted out to the perpetrators.”
Earlier on August 7, villagers had thrashed 45-year-old Saraswoti Devi of Chaurasiya in Bishrampur VDC and fed her human excreta on the charge of practising witchcraft. After the death of her husband, Saraswoti Devi was the lone bread winner in her family and used to work in a field.
Country’s law states that no one can accuse anyone of witchcraft. If anyone does that, s/he will be sentenced to a jail term ranging from three months to two years or slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000 or both.