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Assam passed Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015

Aug 14, 2015 11:11 IST

State Assembly of Assam on 13 August 2015 passed Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015. The bill seeks to eliminate rising cases of superstition leading to murder of so-called "witches".

Hundreds of cases of torture and killing have been reported in the state in the name of witch.

Highlights of the Bill
• The bill recognises all cases of witch-hunting as non-bailable, cognizable and non-compoundable within the meaning of the Code.
• The Bill has clause to prohibit any person from identifying, calling or defaming any other person as witch by words, conducts, signs or indications.
• The Bill has provision of imposing up to seven years of jail and fine up to 5 lakh rupees if anybody violates it.
• The bill said that sentence of 3 years imprisonment will be given if anybody blames a person for natural disasters in a particular locality such as droughts, floods, illness or any death.
• The bill has also proposed to set up special courts in consultation with the high court for trial of offences.
• Assam government will also provide free medical assistance to the victims of witch hunting.

The Bill was tabled in the Assam Assembly on 10 August 2015, the first day of the ongoing monsoon session. The bill was tabled by Parliamentary affairs minister Rakibul Hussain on behalf of chief minister Tarun Gogoi.

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