GUWAHATI, Sept 21 – The North East Society for the Promotion of Youth and Masses (NESPYM) has written to the State Chief Secretary to take remedial steps to curb witch-hunting in Assam. The recommendations from the NGO follow research on the incidents involving killing of people allegedly engaged in witchcraft.
NESPYM has urged that village headmen and PRI members be made responsible for various immoral and illegal activities which may be committed in the area.
It is equally important that health surveys are carried out in all villages to know the morbidities and common causes of mortalities.
In order to counter the attacks on people allegedly practising witchcraft, it would be helpful if a database of all practitioners of traditional healing and traditional medicines is prepared.
The NGO urged the Chief Secretary to take stern action against local alcohol brewing and consumption, and against acts committed under the influence of alcohol.
A massive awareness campaign against witch-hunting is the need of the hour, and such efforts should involve both government and non-government stakeholders, especially local communities.
Members of NESPYM and Assam Pradeshik Mahila Samity recently visited Ambari, Niz Sundorighopa and investigated the death of Purnima Boro, who was killed after being termed a witch. Both the organisations have called for the arrest and exemplary punishment of those responsible for the crime.