A total of 107 people have been killed in witch-hunting incidents in Assam in the past eight years, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary informed the state Assembly on Saturday. Eighty-four people have died due to witch-hunting from 2011 till May 2016 while 23 more lives were lost to it till October this year since the BJP-led government came to power in the state, he said in response to a written question by Congress legislator Nandita Das.
The state government had notified the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Act, 2015 in October last year and is carrying out awareness drives against the superstitious belief, Patowary said on behalf of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who holds the Home portfolio.
Patowary told the House that Kokrajhar, Chirang and Udalguri districts under the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) jurisdiction have recorded the highest number of witch-hunting deaths at 22, 19 and 11 respectively. Nine deaths were reported in Biswanath, seven in Goalpara, six each in Nagaon and Tinsukia and four each in Karbi Anglong and Majuli districts, he said.
Of the 23 persons who died in the state due to witch-hunting since May 2016, 12 were men and 11 women, the minister added.