'Implement Witch Hunting Act, stop sorcery': NHRC directs Odisha government 

Acting on a petition filed by rights activist and SC lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy, the apex human rights watchdog has asked the Chief Secretary to regularly monitor the implementation of the act. 

Published: 08th August 2022 08:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th August 2022 08:08 AM   |  A+A-

Witchcraft, Black magic

For representational purpose only. (Express Illustration)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Odisha government to ensure proper implementation of the provisions of the Prevention of Witch Hunting Act, 2013 to tackle the social evil that still continues unabated in the State.

Acting on a petition filed by rights activist and Supreme Court lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy, the apex human rights watchdog has asked the Chief Secretary to regularly monitor the implementation of the Act, which was enacted to prevent sorcery and witch hunting, at the district level.

Citing that a man and his son were beaten to death in Gajapati district under suspicion of sorcery on June 12 last year, the petitioner alleged that such unfortunate incidents have been taking place and innocent people are being subjected to torture and a brutal murder because the act is not being implemented in letter and spirit.

Pursuant to the directions of NHRC, the State authorities in their reports had stated that 13 persons were arrested in the Gajapati incident and awareness meetings were being conducted in all police station jurisdictions through the Ama police scheme at frequent intervals to prevent such incidents.

As witchcraft cases continue to haunt people in rural areas, Tripathy had raised the State government’s callous attitude in curbing the heinous crime through a rejoinder, following which the Commission had sought comprehensive reports from the Chief Secretary, DGP and district collectors on the prevention of witch hunting and payment of compensation to victims.



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