The police on Monday booked seven people from a Gujarat village for allegedly attacking a 42-year-old woman with an axe and sticks and accusing her of being a witch, The Indian Express reported. They also assaulted her two daughters. No arrests have been made so far, the police said.
The incident took place late on Sunday in Gujarat’s Dabhva village, which falls under the Dahod Sagtala Taluka. The woman was identified as Kanaben Bariya.
According to a complaint her mother-in-law filed at the Sagtala police station, Bariya was at the farm along with her daughters, aged 12 and 17, late on Sunday. The accused came with sticks and axes and attacked Bariya, accusing her of being a witch. They claimed that people in their families were falling ill and their cattle had been dying because of Bariya. When the woman’s daughters intervened, they were assaulted too.
Bariya’s mother-in-law saw the incident and alerted her son. According to the complaint, they threatened to kill Bariya and her daughters if she did not put an end to the witchcraft. The seven people named in the first information report are from the same village.
Police said the woman and her daughters were taken to a health centre for treatment. They were then shifted to the Godhra civil hospital and are in stable condition.
Investigating Officer Amar Puwar said the families had pending problems with a piece of land in the village, according to the newspaper. “We are also investigating in that direction,” Puwar said. “So far no one has been arrested. Investigations are underway.”
The seven people have been booked under sections 143 (member of an unlawful assembly), 147 (Punishment for rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (2) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.