Three held for thrashing woman on witchery charge

Published On: March 12, 2018 08:15 AM NPT By: DIL BAHADUR CHHATYAL

KAILALI, Mar 12: Three people have been arrested in connection with an incident last Thursday in which Radha Chaudhary, 20, of Deukaliya of Ghodaghodi Municipality-5, Kailali district, was thrashed mercilessly for 'practicing witchcraft.' 

Police arrested Ram Bahadur Chaudhary aka Bholebaba, Kismat Chaudhary and Ismari Chaudhary. Another accused woman is at large and police are trying to nab her as well.  

According to District Police Office (DPO), Kailali, the district court has extended the judicial remand of Ram Bahadur and Kismat for further investigation. 

Before the incident, around 200-300 people from various places used to visit Bholebaba in the hope of getting cured from their ailments. On Thursday, the International Women's Day, a similar number of people had gathered on the premises of Bholebaba's home. Five women, who were his helpers, dragged Radha Chaudhary for nearly a kilometer and took her to the front yard of his house. In the presence of a huge crowd, they began uttering mean words and started beating her mercilessly, accusing her of practicing witchcraft. 

People of Radha's village were completely unaware about this. At around 12 pm on that day, Bholebaba's helper Kismati and 15 others went to Radha's village and dragged Balak Chaudhary accusing her of the same. Some villagers saw Balak being dragged. They reached Bholebaba's house and saw that they were beating Radha mercilessly. 

“We had no idea before. After seeing Balak Chaudhary being dragged, we went there and saw Radha being beaten without mercy while the crowd around them was encouraging them. They were kicking her everywhere and we intervened hurriedly,” said Deepak Sapkota, a local. “If our group of four people had not reached there, they would have killed her. She had already lost consciousness by that time,” he said. 

After the incident, Assistant Sub-inspector Dinesh Bista, who is also the acting chief of the Area Police Office, Sukkad, tried to reconcile the two sides instead of taking legal action against Radha's perpetrators. He was suspended after the incident gained widespread condemnation. Nepal Police headquarters, after the recommendation of Province 7 police, suspended him for arbitrating the incident instead of informing the higher authority despite it being a serious incident.

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