Kerala human sacrifice case throws spotlight on wait for law against superstitious practices

The human sacrifice of two women in Elanthoor, Pathanamthitta, has brought attention back to the need for legislation against superstitious beliefs and practices.

Published: 12th October 2022 06:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2022 05:29 PM   |  A+A-

human sacrifice

Image for representation.

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The human sacrifice of two women in Elanthoor, Pathanamthitta, has brought attention back to the need for legislation against superstitious beliefs and practices. The state which brags about being a progressive one has so far failed to enact a law against archaic and brutal practices and the governments have so far only paid lip service to the idea.

The first initiative on the enactment of an anti-superstition law came during the 2006-11 V S Achuthanandan government’s tenure. However, the move did not bear fruit and a more robust effort was made in 2014 when Ramesh Chennithala was the home minister. Then Intelligence wing head A Hemachandran prepared a draft of the bill titled ‘The Kerala Exploitation by Superstition (Prevention) Act’. However, the draft did not see the light of day.

READ HERE | Shocking: Kerala couple 'sacrifice' two women for prosperity; three held

Hemachandran, who has now retired, said the draft was prepared after several violent incidents pertaining to superstitious beliefs were reported in the state. “Two or three murders were reported during that period which forced the government to think about a law to deal with superstitious beliefs. I consulted with the district police chiefs on such incidents before preparing the draft. Then home secretary Nivedita P Haran was also interested in enacting a law. The draft was submitted before the assembly subject committee, but I don’t know what had happened after that,” he said.

Late UDF MLA P T Thomas in 2019 had moved a private member’s bill seeking a ban on black magic and superstitious practices. A string of incidents such as the murder of four members of a family at Kambakkanam in Idukki and the preservation of a body of a religious teacher for three months without burial in Malappuram thinking that he would come back to life had prompted Thomas to come up with such a bill. However, Minister A C Moideen, who was entrusted by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to give a reply, curtly told the assembly that permission should not be given to present the bill in the house.

In 2021, CPM legislator K D Prasenan sought permission to introduce a bill to eradicate superstitious practices. However, the government did not give its consent. SC and ST Welfare Minister K Radhakrishnan told the house that the government had prepared a draft of  ‘Kerala Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices, Sorcery and Black Magic Bill ‘, which will be introduced soon. However, there has been no word on the bill thereafter.

READ HERE | Kerala human sacrifice: Victims' bodies were cut into 56 pieces; cannibalism angle to be probed


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