GUWAHATI: The Assam Police will join hands with the State Women Commission and NGOs to fight the menace of witch-hunting which has claimed six lives in Kokrajhar district last month.
“We are interested to work with the women commission and NGOs to fight the menace. Police already has a network across the state. This network will come in handy in curbing the superstition. I have already instructed district police officials to cooperate with different agencies in tackling witch-hunting,” said Assam Police director-general Shankar Baruah.
Assam Police, in 2001, started Project Prahari following the death of five persons in the name of witch-hunting in an underdeveloped village called Thaigarguri in Kokrajhar district. “But now, we want to expand our programme and fight the superstition more effectively. That is why we have decided to join hands with the Assam State Women Commission and different NGOs for eradicating this evil,” said additional director general of Assam Police Kula Saikia. Saikia said Project Prahari, in association the with women’s commission and NGOs, would also explore the possibilities of framing a special legislation so that the practice of witch-hunting could be dealt with effectively. Social activists and experts during a consultation here on Saturday advocated a special legislation and state action plan to deal with witch-hunting which was showing no signs of relenting even as the state boasts of ushering in development on many fronts. “If there is a law to stop the practice of sati and child marriage, there is every possibility of having a special law for fighting witch-hunting in the state. I don’t think there is any major hurdle to frame a legislation for stopping the menace,” said Law Research Institute director Jeuti Barooah.
Assam State Women Commission chairperson, Mridula Saharia said the superstition of witch-hunting was mostly prevalent in Kamrup (rural), Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur and Karbi Anglong districts.
Original Story: The Hindu