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Assam to ect law against witch hunting

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Job providing agencies and their agents will have to register their credentials with the local police stations

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, March 12: Assam government has prepared a draft bill to tackle the social evil of witch hunts.

The bill, according to the home department, seeks to prevent and protect persons subjected to atrocities and physical and mental harassment in the pretext of witch hunting.

“The new law would give more teeth to the law enforcing agencies compared to the existing pel provisions to deal with the mece. As per the new law, terming, accusing and causing physical and mental harassment to anybody in the me of being a witch would be treated as a cognizable offence and punishment for the offence would amount to minimum three years of sentence or even to life imprisonment.

The law and order meeting held at Dispur yesterday, which was chaired by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, discussed in details about the new law. Suggestions were also made to impose community fine, if any community is found indulging in torturing anybody in the me of witch-hunting.

Provisions were made for the common men and other social organizations to assist investigating agencies dealing with the persons accused of causing physical and mental harm in the me of witch-hunting. The Chief Minister also directed the officials concerned to incorporate monetary compensation to the victim or next of kin of the victims facing social ostracization and any other harassment.

Women trafficking, another mece in present day Assam, was also discussed at length in the meeting. The traffickers lure the poor job seekers of the State in the me of providing good jobs in other states. These job seekers, many a times, become victims of women trafficking.

In order to deal with this problem, decisions were taken in the meeting to direct the job providing agencies or their agents to register their credentials with the local police stations.

The Chief Minister has also asked the concerned department to issue guidelines for the job providing agencies and their agents to take the consent of the job seekers before sending them out.

The anti-human trafficking units set up at majority of the police stations were also asked to act on the erring agencies violating the guidelines.

“Moreover, extensive efforts have been launched to deal with child trafficking and law enforcing agencies were sensitized to deal with it effectively. The Chief Minister has also called for coordited approach among various line departments along with civil society to extend their cooperation in tackling child trafficking,” an official release said.

WHAT THE BILL HAS
* Terming, accusing and causing physical and mental harassment to anybody in the me of being a witch would be treated as a cognizable offence
* Punishment for the offence would amount to minimum three years of sentence or even to life imprisonment
* Imposition of community fine, if any community is found indulging in torturing anybody in the me of witch-hunting
* Provisions for common people and other social organizations to assist investigating agencies dealing with the accused persons
* Monetary compensation to the victim or next of kin of the victims facing social ostracization and any other harassment

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