Woman branded as witch, molested in Rajasthan

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Jaipur: A 30-year-old woman was stripped and molested after being branded as a witch in Rajasthan’s Tonk district, police said Monday.

The incident took place Saturday in Dhuan village of Tonk district, some 120 km from Jaipur.

The woman approached police to register a first information report (FIR) against four people Sunday evening.

“We have registered a case against Shyoji Nath, Harlal, Harajinath and Bharataram,” a police official said.

“The woman says that four men barged into her house while she was asleep and started alleging that she was a witch. They asked her to leave the village,” he said.

She said in her complaint that they stripped, molested her and tried to rape her but the she managed to escape, the official said.

Police are probing if the accused wanted to grab her property by forcing her to leave the village.

According to the draft Rajasthan Women (Prevention and Protection from Atrocities) Bill, 2011, a crime would be considered to have been committed when any person or community intentionally or inadvertently abets, conspires, aids and instigates the identification of a woman as a witch, leading to her mental and physical torture and humiliation.

The bill has proposed a maximum of seven years’ imprisonment and fine for those who grab property of such women.