Rajasthan: A chilling murder of a 'witch'

India

14 Aug 2017

Rajasthan: A horrific 'witch-hunt', a khap and the irresponsible police

On August 2, Kanya Devi of Rajasthan's Ajmer was randomly branded a witch, made to eat human feces, had hot coal thrust in her eyes, stripped naked and paraded throughout her village. She died.

All this happened in front of her 15-year-old son. The accused were let off with a Rs. 2,500 fine.

It took the police 10 days to make the first arrests.

Crime

The chilling murder of a 'witch'

The chilling murder of a 'witch'

According to the son, on the fateful evening in Regar mohalla (a settlement of 200 Dalit families), his two cousins were suddenly 'possessed' by a spirit. Then they pronounced Devi a witch.

Villagers then assaulted Devi, force-fed her human excreta and water from drains, thrust hot coal into her hands and eyes, stripped her naked and paraded her around.

She died the next day.

Khap

As 'punishment', khap orders a token fine and 'holy dip'

The local khap made the situation worse. As 'punishment', they asked the two sisters, the cousins, to take a "holy dip" in Pushkar and fined them Rs. 2,500 each.

What's more, community elders entrusted the young teenager's responsibility to the family of his mother's murderers. His father had died last month.

The panchayat then asked everyone not to go to the cops.

Love India news?

Stay updated with the latest happenings.

Yes, notify me

Police inaction delayed justice even further

Apparently, police didn't even act in the matter at first till their inaction was criticized. According to Mahadev Regar, a relative of Devi, "In spite of me giving the complaint to the police and communicating them the matter, a case was not lodged."

Arrests

11 days later, FIRs and five arrests

11 days later, FIRs and five arrests

Cops finally lodged an FIR yesterday and arrested the two cousins and three male relatives. Khap members haven't been named as accused.

They have been charged with murder and other sections in the Prevention of Witch-hunting Act. However, there's no mention of 'outraging the modesty of a woman'.

One of the accused, Mahaveer, still insists the incident happened on instructions from 'Bhairu Nath Ji'.

Share this timeline

Khap Panchayat

Rajasthan

Rajasthan Police

Bhairu Nath Ji

FIR

FIRs

Kanya Devi

Mahadev Regar

Nath Ji

Witch-Hunting Act

Share this timeline

Ask NewsBytes
User Image

Next Timeline