Gang blinds Indian woman, accused of witchcraft, with scissors

RAIPUR, India Sat May 21, 2011 5:58am EDT

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RAIPUR, India (Reuters) - Eleven people stormed into a house in a central Indian village and assaulted a woman whom they accused of witchcraft, blinding her and her husband by stabbing them in the eyes with scissors, police said on Saturday.

The incident took place on Friday in the Raipur district of Chhattisgarh state. Police later arrested 10 suspects.

A family in Khaira village had been having money troubles and health problems, which they blamed on a 45-year-old woman, according to S.S. Baghel, a local police officer.

"The accused blamed the alleged witchcraft power of the lady for their problems and raided her house on Friday morning," Baghel told Reuters by phone. "First they beat her up and then a few of them held her hands and legs and then inserted scissors into both her eyes."

When her husband tried to intervene, the group turned on him and inserted scissors into his eyes as well, Baghel added. A doctor at a local hospital said the couple would likely never be able to see again.

The brutalities related to witchcraft, mainly against women, are not new for the interior illiterate pockets of Chhattisgarh, where woman accused of witchcraft are often killed or paraded them naked.

Chhattisgarh state passed the Witchcraft (Prevention) Act in 2005 to crack down on offenders. But the law has hardly made an impact in tribal areas, where atrocities against women accused of witchcraft still flourish and the majority of cases go unreported.

(Reporting by Sujeet Kumar; Editing by Matthias Williams and Alex Richardson)

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Comments (2)
Michael_K wrote:
The fact that people in India, Africa, and elsewhere continue to make accusations of witchcraft, often ending in violence, in 2011 is a sad reflection of the illiteracy and ignorance which continues to plague humankind. But more than just a symptom of ignorance, this horror is also the result of the dark aspect of human nature. Consider that in Africa, gangs of men accost and murder “witches” whom they accuse of using magic to shrink their penises. So they get to indulge their blood-lust and desire to place the blame for life’s ills on innocents while at the same time excusing their own small penis size. Needless to say, this is a sickening phenomenon which represents the very worst of what we’re capable of as a species.

May 21, 2011 3:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Ralphooo wrote:
Humans are a mixed bag. Many are relatively harmlees. Others are COMPLETELY INSANE.

May 21, 2011 5:50pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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