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Saptari woman thrashed on ‘witchcraft accusation’

SAPTARI, JUN 13 - A 40-year-old woman has allegedly been thrashed on the charge of practising witchcraft at Diman VDC-2 in the district. Imali Devi Ram said she was thrashed on Tuesday night by half-a-dozen villagers, including family members of former state minister for irrigation Ramani Devi Ram, accusing her of practicing black magic. The victim, who sustained injuries on her head and arms in the incident and is undergoing treatment at the Rajbiraj-based Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital, claimed that Ramani’s husband Bhola Ram and son Sanjaya barged into her residence at night and assaulted her. “They entered our residence at night, took my father-in-law and mother-in-law under control and beat me when my husband and son were outside,” Imali told media persons in the hospital on Thursday. “The assailants stopped beating when I collapsed,” she said, claiming that Bhola was accompanied by some policemen but they remained mute spectators instead of protecting her from the attack. The assailants, however, claimed that Imali made a local girl sick by practising witchcraft. Bhola admitted that they had gone to her house as per the instruction of shamans. But he refused attacking her. “We returned home as Imali performing a pooja,” he claimed. The victim said villagers used to torture her mentally in the past as well. She lodged a complaint at the police saying that she was attacked on a witchcraft charge but police refused to register the case. She has also demanded security so that she could return home. “We registered the case under assault charge. If investigation shows that she was attacked on witchcraft charge, the case will be filed accordingly,” Inspector Khem Narayan Chaudhary said.