Jharkhand: Tribal woman forced to leave home after villagers blame her of practicing witchcraft

Express News Service

RANCHI: In yet another shocking incident related to witchcraft in the Maoist hotbed of Khunti, a tribal woman has been forced to leave village along with her family and take refuge in Khunti after life-threats given by the villagers charging her of practicing witchcraft. 

Before leaving the village, they were also tortured in various ways and imposed a fine of Rs 1.6 lakh by the villagers threatening to kill the entire family if she failed to do pay the amount.

The woman, unable to pay the fine amount, was left with no option but to leave the village and take refuge in a rented accommodation in Khunti along with her husband and children. They are also not being allowed to do cultivation on their lands.

According to the FIR, it all started after a girl in the village died of illness. When her family members approached a Bhagat, Mangra Munda, he told them that she was killed by black music caused by Jagada Nag.

“I was tortured at least for more than a month and was being held responsible for any deaths taking place or person falling ill after a Bhagat, Mangara Munda, from the adjacent village, branded me a sorceress. Not only this, the villagers even started holding me responsible for losing a football match, meeting anaccident by anybody or someone not getting married,” said Jagada Nag.

Nag said that several rounds of Gram Sabha were held to resolve the matter but all in vain as every time she was branded a witch.

Meanwhile, the Bhagat also took blood samples from the head, lips, chest and legs of every family member to ward off the ghost which, according to them, were being cradled by Jagada Nag. They were also being pressurized to pay for a goat and buffalo, which was to be offered to the village deity for pleasing her.

“Later on September 8, the Gram Sabha imposed a fine of Rs 1.6 lakh for the losses allegedly caused by me to the villagers through black magic threatening that the entire family will be finished in case I fail to pay it,” said Nag. On the behest of Bhagat Mangara Munda, a dictat was also passed that no food will be given and no lights will be turned on in the house, she added.

“Later in the night on September 10, six persons named in the FIR came to my house to check whether food is being cooked or not. After they saw us cooking food and lights on, they thrashed me and the entire family badly, saying that the entire family will be killed if we did not leave the place for ever,” said the victim. Since, the life of entire family is in danger, she is living in Khunti in a rented accommodation in Khunti, she added.

After Nag filed an FIR against six named accused persons on September 14, Police arrested four of them but the family is still reluctant to go back to the village as the accused persons have been granted bail. Nag alleged that her house was again ransacked after the police visited the village for investigations.

“An FIR has been registered against six named persons, out of which four were arrested but they are out on bail and have been put on court’s observation,’ said the officer in charge of Marangdha Police Station Kameshwar Kumar.