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WITCH HUNTING: THE MASQUERADING CRIME IN ASSAM

By Ananya Baishya

Witchcraft and witch hunting is a practice of ancient times which have managed to sustain its presence through the minds of traditionally regressive people. Years of struggle, killings and loss of family and friends branded as witches, and many penalties later, this wrongdoing has somehow still managed to maintain its grip on people.
This article aims to understand and explore the very concept of witch hunting and its deep-rooted manifestation in the rural areas of India, specifically Assam. An attempt has been made with an effort to identify the causes of this practise and transpire certain suggestions that will convince the readers of the practices’ diabolism. This paper is mostly based on certain secondary data and is analytic in nature. A number of laws had been carved in the past and numerous NGOs and Government Organizations have been working incessantly towards discontinuing the practice of witch hunting, however, to vain. The ‘Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Act, 2015 (Act no. 21 of 2018)’ is a glimmer of hope to completely end this practice. Even though the practice of witch hunting has been strictly made non-bailable and cognizable, the practice still continues among a few tribes in the backward settlements of Assam in India.
Keywords: Witch, Witch Hunting, Harassment, Black Magic, Superstition, Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Act, 2015 (Act no. 21 of 2018).

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