WITCH-HUNTING: Court seeks Action Taken Report from State government
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, April 1: Not satisfied with an affidavit given by the Assam government, the Gauhati High Court has asked the State Home secretary to appear before it and brief the court on the steps taken to curb witch-hunting in the State.
This is the second time that the court has summoned a top government official on the issue.
A division bench of Chief Justice (acting) K Shreedhar Rao and Justice PK Saikia asked the State Home secretary to appear before it on Monday and brief the court on the steps taken to check the social malaise.
The court sought an action taken report from the State government on the directions given by it on December last, which included framing of an anti-witch hunt law within three months.
The State Home commissioner had appeared before the court on November last following a directive.
The State government had informed the court that it was ecting a law to prevent organized crime, which would include witch-hunting. The public interest litigation had been filed by a High Court lawyer, Rajeeb Kalita, in December 2013, seeking government action to end the illegal practice of witch-hunting in the State. It said the actual cause of witch-hunting was superstition among people, particularly in interior places devoid of proper health care and education.
At least 77 people have been killed and 60 others injured in witch-hunting incidents in Assam since 2010. The 77 persons include 35 women. Of the injured 60 people, 46 were women.
The Additiol Director General of CID has prepared a draft anti-witch hunting bill as per the direction of the Gauhati High Court.