Here's another story most of us wouldn't expect to find reported in the 21st century. It comes from India, and involves a woman accused of witchcraft being forced to pluck a silver coin from boiling oil. -EditorA 32-year-old tribal woman was severely beaten up and forced to pick a silver coin from a vessel filled with boiling oil after a village panchayat in Sirohi district accused her of practising witchcraft. The woman, who was later thrown out of her house by own family, is now undergoing treatment in a hospital for serious injuries.
The incident took place on Sunday but police was informed about it only on Wednesday, after which five of the 23 accused have been arrested.
According to police, two members of a Gharasiya (ST) family in Khara village of Sirohi had died in the past one month. The family accused Gujriya (32), a resident of same village, for the deaths. The matter was brought before the village panchayat, which directed the woman to undergo a 'pareeksha' (test).
A group of villagers, including the panchayat members (Patels), then took the woman to a deserted location and forced her to pick a silver coin from a vessel containing boiling oil. The woman suffered severe burns on both her hands and she fell unconscious.
A villager, speaking about the practice prevalent in some areas, said: "Women, whosoever, labelled as a 'witch' by the villagers has to pick a silver coin from a tank filled with boiling oil, with both her hands. If her hands are burnt, her witchhood is confirmed, otherwise she is declared innocent." Once 'proved' a witch, she is forced to free the 'victim family' from her 'curse' and leave the village forever, he said.
To read the complete article, see: Branded witch, tribal woman forced to dip hands in hot oil (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Jaipur/
Wayne Homren, Editor
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