Shillong, Aug. 5: The Meghalaya People’s Human Rights Council today demanded an anti-superstition law following fresh incidents of inhuman torture on those who allegedly practised witchcraft.
In the last three weeks, there were at least two cases which reported inhuman torture being meted out to two individuals who were alleged to have been practising witchcraft in two different villages in East Khasi Hills.
“We have seen cases of people being inhumanly tortured after they were alleged to practise witchcraft or being cut-throats. Therefore, the need of the hour is to have a strong anti-superstition law. At the same time, it is difficult to change people’s mindsets as such beliefs have been in existence since time immemorial,” said council chairman Dino D.G. Dympep.
While stating that beliefs of any indigenous society are a part of citizens’ rights, which have been recognised and need to be respected according to the Constitution, Dympep, however, said it was unlawful to violate an individual’s human rights.
He advocated changing people’s mindsets in relation to beliefs which lead to human rights violation.
“The government should immediately step in and make a strong legislation to curb such unhealthy incidents and, at the same time, help those innocent victims,” Dympep said.
Pending the required legislation, he said the government should constitute a team to look into such incidents.
Last month, a person was made to consume human excreta after it was alleged that he practised witchcraft. Another individual was forced to eat dog faeces when his relatives made similar allegations.