Guwahati: Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary informed the State Assembly on Saturday that 107 people were killed in Assam due to witch hunting from 2011. Of these, 84 people have died from 2011 till May 2016 while 23 more lives were lost until October this year. Out of the 23, 12 were men and 11 were women.
On behalf of the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonawal, Patowary said that the state government had notified the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Act, 2015 in October last year and is carrying out awareness drives against the superstitious belief.
Patowary further added that the highest number of witch-hunting deaths was recorded in Kokrajhar, Chirang and Udalguri districts under the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) jurisdiction. He said, 9 deaths were reported in Biswanath, 7 in Goalpara, 6 in Nagaon and Tinsukia and 4 each in Karbi Anglong and Majuli districts.
In Kokrajhar, Nirjoy Rabha, 50, was branded as a “sorcerer” and died after a mob thrashed him in February. He was believed to be the reason for the deadly fever spreading in the village. A man was arrested in Tinsukia district for allegedly killing two women in a case of witch hunting.