JAIPUR: While the world celebrated International Women’s Day, life took a horrific turn for a 25-year-old woman in Barmer district of Rajasthan after she was thrashed by her husband through the Pachpadra town’s streets.
A tantrik (quack healer), had advised her husband to march her through the streets barefoot because she was possessed and the process would help her cleanse herself of the spirit’s effects.
In videos that surfaced on social media, the husband can be seen chasing the woman with a slipper in his hand and thrashing her whenever she was unable to run further.
The police filed an FIR once the videos made their way online and summoned the couple.
“The husband and the Tantrik were arrested under the Rajasthan Prevention of Witch-Hunting Act, 2015 . The woman is in shock and is undergoing therapy. She has been referred for consultation in Jodhpur,” said Saroj Chaudhary, Station Officer, Pachchadra
According to the officer, the woman’s family claimed that she had been unwell. They went to the Tantrik, who reportedly told them after four days that she was possessed by a spirit. He advised the husband to make her run across town barefoot.
Such occult practices are prevalent not only in Rajasthan but across the country. Faced with a lack of healthcare facilities and doctors, locals often resort to visiting quacks and self-proclaimed healers.
The Rajasthan Prevention of Witch-hunting Act, 2015 came into force in April 2015. The special enactment, as the name suggests, is ostensibly targeted at combating the problem of witch-hunting that prevails in the State. As many as over 150 cases have come up in Rajasthan in the past two years, in which women have been branded as witches, data from the department of women and child development has revealed.