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70-yr-old woman branded witch, beaten to death in Udr village

Udaipur : A 70-year-old woman was beaten to death in a village in Bichla Fala of Kali Ghati under Semari block of the district on Saturdayevening by members of a family who accused her of being a witch, the police said. The woman, Champa Devi, was reportedly working in her field  in the evening when she was attacked. Shankarlal so Tolaram Meena, his wife Parvati and two children went to her and started abusing the old woman calling her a witch. They accused the woman to have caused illness to their son Govind who was severely sick at home.

They dragged the poor lady over a kilometer to their home in the village and tied her with a wooden pole. The old lady was beaten up badly by Shankarlal while the rest of the family members watched her begging for life. The torture only stopped when the lady fell unconscious. The accused called up the village Sarpanch Radha Devi and informed that Champa had fallen unconscious outside their home. The Sarpanch sent people to enquire about the matter and the men dropped the bleeding woman outside her home. The lady’s son later took their mother to the nearby health center where she was declared dead. “My mother begged before them to spare her, saying she was not a witch, but they did not listen,” her son Mohanlal  said.

On his complaint an FIR has been lodged against Shankarlal and his family members. Tension prevailed in the village over the death and people staged protest demanding Mautana (death compensation) amount of 10 lakh rupees to the victim’s family. They refused to permit for the autopsy until a settlement was made. Later the matter was settled on an ex-gratia of 2 Lakh rupees, sources said. Meanwhile, the police has registered the case under sections 323, 341, 302 and 34 of the IPC and investigation has begun. No one has been arrested so far.

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