Witchhunt in India

May 5, 2007

Horrible witchhunt story: Couple burned alive for “black magic”, Reuters, Hyderabad, India, Thu May 3, 2007. Another copy of this story, with a few more details, can be found on the website of Reuters India (Andhra Pradesh couple burnt alive for “black magic”).

More detailed versions of this story can be found on India eNews.com (Couple burnt to death for practicing black magic), on RxPG (Couple burnt to death for practicing black magic), and on the Independent Online site in South Africa (Couple burned alive for ‘witchcraft’).

Even the short version says: “Belief in black magic is common in some parts of rural India, despite the country’s robust economic growth and cutting-edge high-technology industries. Dozens of women are murdered each year after being accused of witchcraft.”

Some of the longer versions add, “In the last decade, about 300 people were killed in the region on the suspicion they were practising black magic. The practice is prevalent in Medak, Nalgonda, Ranga Reddy, Warangal, Karimnagar, Nizamabad and Adilabad districts. The actual number of deaths could be higher as many of the ‘bhanamati’ deaths are treated as deaths caused by illness.”

The short version ends with the following, on the separate issue of human sacrifice: “Last year, a barber in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh killed his four-year-old son by slitting his throat with a razor after the man started seeing visions of the Hindu goddess Kali demanding a sacrifice.”

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