MALDA, 23 APRIL: A Class VIII girl was branded witch and rescued by police before being killed. Police sent her along with mother to Social Welfare Home for their security while the villagers are still fuming.
The incident took place at border village Singabad under Habibpur police station. It is learnt that 15 year old Sankari Roy, a student of Class VIII of local Singabad Tilasan High School was playing with her friends on Saturday afternoon. At this time she took a three month old son of a neighbor’s wife in her lap. But the baby began to cry at Sankari’s lap. Mother of the baby Beauty Roy after a while discovered the baby had a black mark on its back and it used to cry for long. Gripped in a fit of hysteria Beauty claimed that Sankari was a witch and had cast an evil eye on her baby. This spread in the village in a moment and sparked tension among the villagers.
A group of villagers believed in the claim of Beauty and planned to drive out Sankari. But Sankari along with her 49 year old mother Jasomati had nowhere to go. Yesterday, the villagers sat in a kangaroo court and decided to kill both the mother and daughter. But thanks to the initiative of some other villagers police got the news. Police from Habibpur Police Station reached the village in the evening and rescued the mother and daughter. Last night they stayed at the police station.
Superintendent of police Jayanta Pal said: “We have rescued the girl and her mother and produced them to court today. It was decided that they would stay at Social Welfare Home for their security.” However, none of the villagers were arrested as there was no complaint from the victims.
Subhendu Mishra, teacher of Sankari’s school said, “It is most unfortunate incident and the students and teachers of our school came out with a rally against such superstition in the village today.” Infested with illiteracy and superstition the villagers believe in witchcraft. Mishra said: “On behalf of the school we would arrange an awareness programme in the village on Tagore’s birthday.”