August 17th, 2015
Reported by Anbwesh Roy Choudhury for HT| Info. And Image Source: Hindustan Times
Bringing the menace of witch-hunting to limelight again is a shameful incident from the city of Ranchi. A 37-year old woman here was inhumanly tortured by her own family members on being ‘suspected’ of being a witch. Sumitra Ganju, mother of three, was locked up in a room in her house for three days by her in-laws and was even forced to drink urine to ‘drive out’ the witch in her.
All this happened in the absence of Ganju’s husband, Dhaneshwar, who returned late in the evening to find her wife in this pitiable condition. Her husband slipped her out of the home and lodged an FIR with the local police, which brought the incident to light on Wednesday afternoon.
Ganju’s suffering started on Sunday when her mother-in-law, Galia, irrationally held her responsible for the death of three of their oxen, declaring her a witch. Galia’s two sons, along with their respective wives, joined her and started tormenting Sumitra. They brutally thrashed her with sticks, severely injuring her head, eyes and waist. They then locked her up in a room and made her drink urine.
Sumitra’s misery finally came to an end when her husband returned home on Tuesday evening. After learning of her wife’s plight, he rescued her — “I took her to the nearest health clinic. She was given an injection and some pills,” he said. After registering an FIR, Sumitra was taken to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), where she is being currently treated.
According to Dhaneshwar, the local Panchayat was informed about the whole episode but there was no action. “Devi’s brothers-in-law, Mahesh Ganju and Ganesh Ganju, have been arrested under the Prevention of Witch Practices Act and for assault,” informed Ormanjhi station-in-charge Sanjay Kumar.
Another cruel incident highlighting our baseless belief in superstitions. Another innocent person becoming a victim of these false notions. Another example of heartless treatment of women in the name of superstitions. Another incident of our irrational beliefs taking over our human side. We really need to introspect: are we living in 21st century? It is hard to believe, but these kind of atrocities are practiced in most parts of India.