Incident Reports

Villagers jailed for abusing elderly on witch hunting act


District court has sentenced Ranjana Yadav, 39, of Jokhi Piparahi in Khutauna, Madhubani of Indian State of Bihar to seven months in prison and fined Rs 10,000 for abusing Sakunti Devi Sah, 52, of Rampur Jamuwa in Shambhunath VDC-10. District Judge Kamal Prasad Pokharel, on April 5, convicted Yadav of abusing Sah accusing her of being a witch. Court registrar Nabaraj Dulal said that Yadav had been remanded in Rajbiraj Prison on November 25, 2014. The court also sentenced Krishna Dev Sada, 50, his wife Renu, 45, and another villager Dev Narayan Sada, 30, of Shambhunath VDC-10 to four months in prison and fined Rs 7,000. Ranjana’s brother-in-law Krishna Dev, his wife Renu and neighbor Dev Narayan were released on the bail of Rs 17,000. Court said those released on bail remain absconding. Sakunti Devi was abused by the convicts of causing death of 5-year-old daughter of Budhan Sada of the same village due to diarrhea on October 31, 2014. They had also beaten up the victim’s husband Bhupendra Sah aka Bhola, 58. The perpetrators burned the face of Sakunti Devi calling her a witch. The witch hunting was led by Ranjaha who had come to visit her sister where she acted as a shaman. The victim received treatment at Gajendra Narayan Singh Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital in Rajbiraj. She filed a complaint against the perpetrators at Area Police Office Kalyanpur November 1 leading to their arrest on the same day. Manohar Kumar Pokharel
Details and Impacts
Violent / Non-violent Violent
Onesided / Twosided Onesided
Collective / Interpersonal Interpersonal
Primary Form Assault (small group)
Weapons Blunt weapon , Fire
Primary Cause Extra-judicial response on basis of witchcraft allegations
Actor 1 - Number of people 6
Actor 1 - Affiliations Citizen/Individuals
Actor 1 - Youth noyouth
Actor 2 - Number of people 2
Actor 2 - Affiliation (Target) Citizen/Individuals
Actor 2 - Youth noyouth
Total Injured 2
Female Injured 1