Team For Witchcraft Curb

District Magistrate Surendra Kumar Meena said Rapid Response Team (RRT) will be set up in Mayurbhanj district to tackle cases of witch hunting.

The tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj district continues to hog the limelight in the State as far as witchcraft-related violence is concerned.
Despite the implementation of Odisha Prevention of Witch Hunting Act, 2013 to check the social menace, the district had witnessed 92 cases of witchcraft and sorcery related offences during last five years.
To tackle the cases of witch hunting the Rapid Response Team would work in block level, the DM said.

The process of formation of RRTs would be completed by January 15 and at least 26 RRTs would be set up with the Block Development Officer (BDO) as head, the DM said.

The RRTs will comprise Child Development Program Officer(CDPO), Medical Officer, Block Education Officer, Welfare Extension Officer, Inspector In Charge of Police Station, Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYK) Volunteer, one office bearer of block level federation of self help groups, he said.
The children, women and elderly persons were mostly victims of the witchcraft practice.
The Teams would take steps to prevent any such types of incidents in remote tribal villages and for minimizing offences in collaboration with local police and other agencies besides making awareness activities.
The district has witnessed seven sorcery killings in 2017 and most of the cases were reported from tribal hamlets.
On July 18, a 45-year-old woman and her 10-year-old son were killed in Dhipabandh village under Thakurmunda police limits.
In another case, a couple of Kathachua village under Kaptipada police limits was killed by villagers on April 21.
If sources are to be believed, several sorcery cases go unreported.
On the other hand, ‘tantriks’ in these areas play an important role in persuading people to brand a woman or a man as a witch.
With RRT in Operation at block level, such menace will be curbed, feel officials.

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