A 55-year-old woman in India was brutally attacked and killed by more than a dozen people when her her son-in-law accused her of being a witch in India's most recent witch hunt on Friday.
Ashok Patel tells of the gruesome ordeal in which his mother, Dukalheen Bai, is lured to the village where she was born in a modern day witch hunt. She was accused of witchcraft, then violently stripped, tortured, and killed by the villagers, including members of her own family. He tells local BBC Hindi News of the terrifying scene.
"My mother was beaten up very badly. She kept screaming but the entire village just watched. I protested, but couldn't save my mother."Bai's son-in-law, along with his wife and father, made the initial accusations after a child had fallen ill. They blamed the prolong illness on witchcraft and he claimed that his mother-in-law was the witch responsible. The violent assault began after he demanded that the woman treat the child and reverse the supposed black magic that he believed she had performed on the child as a witch. When she did not, they killed her. She was taken to a nearby medical center after the attack but was pronounced dead upon arrival. An autopsy is pending in the investigation and so far about a dozen people have been arrested in connection with the murder.
This is the second witch hunt attack this month in India that has made national news. India's national gold medalist, Debjani Bora, was also a victim of a witch hunt when she was tied up, tortured, and beaten after a villager accused her of being a witch earlier this month. Luckily, she survived the attack; however, many are not so lucky.
Modern day witch hunts are targeting women and children all over the world -- not only in India, but witch hunts in South Africa, regions in South America, and even in Europe have ended in violence for those who are accused witches. Although arrests are often made in these witch hunts, it seems to be doing little to deter the persecution of witches or those merely accused of being a witch.
Even for those who survive their attacks, life after a witch hunt often leaves victims homeless, ostracized, and in fear of further attacks. Extreme torture, beatings, and even being burned alive is the fate of many accused witches in these modern witch hunts and most often, it only takes a mere accusation that they are a witch to seal their fate.
[Image Source: BBC]