Assam: Victims narrate scary tales of being branded as witches, facing expulsion from village

Assam: Victims narrate scary tales of being branded as witches, facing expulsion from village

Tucked up at a green corner on the Assam-Meghalaya border, about 60 kms from Goalpara town of Assam, lies a popular village known widely for witch-hunting. 

From outside Nagua Para-Khasi Para is like any other village. Melancholic, peaceful and devoid of amenities of city life, amidst the lush green cover of this village, lies hidden, the pages of a scary past.

At one time, due to lack of education, most of the people of the village were subjected to superstition and gradually branded a section of people as witches and tortured them.

Gradually, after the new generation of the village took modern education, efforts were made to free the people of superstitions such as witchcraft. Unfortunately they have not yet been completely freed from the clutches of superstitions.
Around 20 years ago, Lalmohan Rabha and Khenai Rabha, now in their 90s, were branded as witches and tortured and socially expelled by a group of people in the village.

A village where superstitions and witchcraft ruled their everyday life, the Rabha couple have now left their scary past and haunting nightmares while forgiving all those who once tortured them, branding them as witches or engaging in witchcraft.
Later, with the help of a group of educated people, Lalmohan Rabha ascended to the post of Gaonburah (village headman) in the village and got back to normal life. 

In another instance, Raniswari, a resident of the same village was branded as a witch by a group of people and expelled from the village.

Raniswari’s eyes swell up with tears at the memories of her own children and her village. Raniswari has left her village and is now working at a weaving centre in Kalyanpur in Goalpara.


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