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Sad reality of India’s witch hunts
In parts of India, witch hunting is not merely a dark part of history. It is still happening today.
Assaults are widespread in rural areas, where dozens of women die every year after being accused of witchcraft. Hundreds of others are tortured.
Sushila is a widow in her 60s, and is disabled – her left hand is not fully developed. Yet that didn’t stop men in her village branding her a witch and beating her in public last year.
“They dragged me from my home and said “You are a witch. We’ll remove the evil spirit from you,” Sushila recalls. “They took off my clothes. They pulled my hair and beat me up. They made me drink sewage water.”
Sushila and two other widows, Safina Bibi and Sagrina Bibi, were paraded as witches and thrashed by 15 men. Their public flogging carried on for about an hour.
”They started beating us up, and slapped me hard,” Sagrina Bibi says. “They hit me with slippers. There was a large crowd there but no one came forward to help us.”
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