IRAC moves NHRC over killing of 53-year old tribal widow in Assam

On 25 May 2021, the Indigenous Rights Advocacy Centre (IRAC) raised the issue of killing of Ms Laksheswari Daimary, a 53-year-old tribal widow, at No 1 Geruajuli area of Rangapara in Sonitpur district of Assam on the night of 24 April 2021 in a case of witch-hunting.  The assailants barged into her house on the night of 24 April 2021 and beaten her to death. Later, they carried the body to a forest 1 km away and buried it. She was a mother of four children. Further, the assailants tortured the deceased’s grandson Mohit Daimary. On 25 April, some villagers found him tied by his hands and legs.

Identification or branding of anyone as a ‘witch’ is prohibited under Assam Witch Hunting(Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Act, 2015. Therefore, the authorities have the duty to protect lives and initiate action against the culprits under the Act. The Act also provides compensation to the victims or their families.

The Indigenous Rights Advocacy Centre (IRAC) sought the  immediate intervention of the National Human Rights Commission to direct the state government of Assam to order a judicial inquiry into the killing  and submit a report to the NHRC within four weeks; and direct the state government of Assam to arrest and prosecute all the accused under the law including the SC/ST Act and the Assam Witch Hunting(Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Act, 2015; and further to dirrect the state government of Assam to provide compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and ensure rehabilitation of the family under the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Act;  

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