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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Branded ‘witch,’ villagers banish blind woman, family

Malda, 8 October, 2014: Despite complaints of branding a blind woman as witch and driving her entire family away from their house were lodged a couple of days back, Old Malda police have allegedly taken no action against the accused. The hapless woman Tumpa Ghosh (24) has been reeling under life-threat and sought refuge to her relative’s house with her parents Jamunalal Ghosh (56) and Jharna Ghosh (47) leaving their house at School Para area at municipal ward no. 5 of Old Malda Municipality in Malda police station.

However, SP, Malda Prasun Banerjee said that necessary action would be taken to reinstate the family and proceedings would be started against the accused.

Local sources informed that some inhabitants of School Para area rammed into the house of the blind woman and branding as a witch directed her to leave the locality immediately. The woman alleged that she and her parents were roughed up too by those neighbours.

“I had a tiff with one Bablu Singh on Sunday morning and during altercation I cursed him to fall sick. Incidentally, the man suffered a serious ailment in the afternoon. This made his relatives and friends believe that I am a witch and they drove me away me and my parents threatened us not to go back to our house again. I am afraid, if we go back they would kill me and my parents,” the helpless woman said.

Her mother Jharna Ghosh said, “We run our family by selling fast-food in front of a school. Our daughter is blind since her birth and dependent on us only. We have no idea how she can be a witch.”

She added, “Out of fear of being killed, we have taken refuge with one of our relatives. We lodged a police complaint against six persons including Mithun Das, Munni Singh, Chhoton Das on Monday morning. But police have taken no action yet.”
 
Tumpa with her parents at their hideaway
Some inhabitants of School Para area however believe that the blind woman has an ominous power. They claimed that whenever she makes a prophecy it comes true. “After she cursed Bablu Singh, he too fell ill. It further fanned the rumour that Tumpa has a evil power,” said Asha Mandal, a local woman.

Malda SP, Banerjee said, “Inspector in charge of Malda police station has been asked to take prompt action so that the blind woman and her parents safely return to their house. Police would take necessary action against the accused.”

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