Biswath Chariali, July 20: In yet another gruesome incident of witch-hunt, an elderly woman was beheaded by villagers at Bhimajuli village close to the Assam-Aruchal border here.
Villagers executed 65-year-old Purni Orang after she was proclaimed a witch by another village woman Anima Ronhangpi who claimed to have been possessed by a goddess.
Purni' execution was carried out on the banks of the river Dhuli at around 11.40 am today.
The village has a mixed population of Adivasi and Karbi people.
Biswath Police rushed to the village and arrested three persons, including the alleged main culprit identified as Biliram Bay, the husband of Anima Ronhangpi.
Official sources said the "self-proclaimed goddess Anima Ronghangpi" fled after the incident.
According to Biswath additiol superintendent of police Sajjad Hussein, following instructions from the self-proclaimed goddess Anima Ronghangpi, a few villagers led by Biliram Bay brutally killed the elderly woman.
"The situation is under control now. We have deployed forces in the village so that there is no commul backlash between the Adivasi and Karbi communities," the police official said.
Social activist Dibyajyoti Saikia blamed the poor education and health system in the State for the repeated incidents of witch-hunts. "These remote villages lack education and health facilities. The education system in the State has become certificate and job oriented. It has little to do with enlightenment."
Saikia, who heads a social organization 'Brothers', appealed to the State government to pass the new witch-hunt law in the coming session of the Assembly. "All MLAs should cooperate and put pressure on the government to expedite the law," he said.
The government says the proposed Act will have more punitive pelties to check the mece.
The State government is also planning a special court to conduct trial of cases related to witch-hunting, in which 82 people have died in the last five years.
A draft bill prepared by the State Home department proposes punishment ranging between three years to life imprisonment for those found guilty of branding someone a witch and abetting suicide, apart from taking care of the victims.