10 women killed in Chhattisgarh in 2005 for practicing witch craft

Raipur, India - Twenty-two cases of harassment of women, accusing them of practicing `witch craft', were reported in Chhattisgarh last year, claiming ten lives, the state assembly was informed today.

Replying to a question of nominated Anglo-Indian member Roslin Backman, Women and Child Welfare Minister Lata Usendi told the state assembly that ten women were killed in the 22 cases.

Rajnandgaon district has the highest number of cases (six) including one death followed by Jashpur, where four women were killed in an equal number of cases, she said.

In Sarguja three women were killed and Korea district had two cases of deaths of women, the minister said.

When five cases of harassment of women were registered in Sarguja, two cases each were reported from Bastar and Korea and one case each were reported from Raipur, Bilaspur and Raigarh districts, she said.

Replying to questions, she said the state government had last year enacted a law against harassment of women in the name of practicing witch craft.

Awareness campaign had also been launched among the people to stop harassment of women in the name of `tonhi' (witch), she said.