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Crime Patrol: Family tortures, kills Indian woman for 'witchcraft' (Episode 577 on 28th Oct, 2015)

Part 1

The Inside Story

Raipur, Chhattisgarh

Woman beaten to death on suspicion of witchcraft

A 55-year-old widow was beaten to death by her in-laws in central India on suspicion of being a witch and practising black magic. The incident took place on Sunday in the central state of Chhattisgarh. The woman was attacked by her relatives who claimed her witchcraft had caused her nephew's ill health. The victim's brother-in-law, his wife and other relatives of her late husband confronted her over the sick boy, demanding that she reverse whatever "black magic" had caused the illness. The relatives put chilli powder in her eyes, ears and private parts and thrashed her severely, causing her death.

The incident highlights the persistence of belief in witchcraft and the occult in some impoverished and tribal-dominated areas of India, leading to crimes mainly against women. In some cases, women are stripped naked as punishment, burnt alive, or driven from their homes and killed. Twelve people, including the brother-in-law and five women, have been arrested over the incident, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

Such incidents have been repeatedly reported from different parts of India, where women are often blamed for natural calamities and other misfortunes in the community. This superstition has led to the torture and killing of many innocent women. The government has taken several steps to curb such practices, but it has not been able to eradicate them completely.

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