In a move that may contain witchcraft related violence across the country,a village panchayat in Bihar took the lead by deciding to take penal action against its perpetrators.
Reports said the panchayat on Wednesday decided to impose a fine of Rs 21,000 on anyone branding a woman as a witch.
“A panchayat meeting decided to fight branding of women as witches. The panchayat will impose a fine if anyone is found branding a woman as a witch,” said IANS report quoting Madhumala Devi, head of Mithai panchayat (village council) in Madhepura district.
Devi,a woman activist,is also quoted by the same report adding :”Laws alone cannot fight this social evil of branding a woman as a witch. There is a need of social action against it.”
The age old bane of dubbng women as witches and assaulting them,often to death, continues unabated in many parts of the country including rural Bihar,Jharkhand and Assam.