Greed & Power Override Myth As India’s Poorest State Strives To End The Hunting Of Witches By 2023

23 Feb 2022 0 min read  Share

In no state are more women hunted, battered and killed on allegations of being witches than Jharkhand. One of India’s poorest states, it appears to be fertile ground for myth and superstition, but the real-world reasons for hunting ‘witches’ are more prosaic. As a government programme aims to end witch hunts by next year, we report on the barriers: the lack of healthcare, the desire to settle personal scores, exercise power and attack the most vulnerable women.

Shanti Devi sits in front of her house on the very road where, in December, she was brutally assaulted by her neighbours who accused her of witchcraft/PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANURADHA SHARMA.