India Struggles to Eradicate an Old Scourge: Witch Hunting

They ushered the young woman into their home and closed the door behind her. Then the beating began.

“You are a witch,” shouted one of the attackers, as she, her parents and her uncle rained punches, kicks and slaps on the 26-year-old woman’s stomach, chest and face.

When the pummeling finally ended, after nearly two hours, the young woman was pulled outside by her hair, dragged through her village and dumped, unconscious, next to a temple, her clothing barely clinging to her battered body.

The attack, in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand in 2021, was evidence that India is still struggling to eradicate the age-old scourge of witch hunting, despite a raft of laws and other initiatives.

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