GANG BLINDS INDIAN WOMAN, ACCUSED OF WITCHCRAFT, WITh SCISSORS


Eleven people
stormed into a house in a
central Indian village and
assaulted a woman whom
they accused of witchcraft,
blinding her and her husband by stabbing them
in the eyes with scissors,
police said on Saturday.

The incident took place on
Friday in the Raipur district
of Chhattisgarh state. Police
later arrested 10 suspects.

A family in Khaira village
had been having money
troubles and health
problems, which they
blamed on a 45-year-old
woman, according to S.S. Baghel, a local police
officer.

“The accused blamed the
alleged witchcraft power
of the lady for their
problems and raided her
house on Friday morning,”
Baghel told Reuters by phone. “First they beat her
up and then a few of them
held her hands and legs
and then inserted scissors
into both her eyes.”

When her husband tried to
intervene, the group
turned on him and inserted
scissors into his eyes as
well, Baghel added. A
doctor at a local hospital said the couple would
likely never be able to see
again.

The brutalities related to
witchcraft, mainly against
women, are not new fo r
the interior illiterate
pockets of Chhattisgarh,
where woman accused of witchcraft are often killed
or paraded them naked.

Chhattisgarh state passed
the Witchcraft (Prevention)
Act in 2005 to crack down
on offenders. But the law
has hardly made an impact
in tribal areas, where atrocities against women
accused of witchcraft still
flourish and the majority of
cases go unreported. (Reuters)

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