GUWAHATI, June 15 � Following a spurt of cases of witch hunting in different parts of the State, the Assam police has decided to take a series of measures with community participation to deal with the menace.
Additional Director General of Police in charge of Assam Police Radio Organization, Kula Saikia told The Assam Tribune that in addition to other measures, efforts would be made to launch an awareness campaign involving drama groups in the vulnerable areas of the State, while, all the Superintendents of Police have been directed by the DGP to identify the vulnerable areas of the State.
Saikia, who is also the nodal officer of Project Prahari, launched by the Assam Police to involve the community in dealing with social evils, revealed that the DGP has also directed the SPs of all the districts to launch the project in the vulnerable areas of all the districts to prevent witch hunting.
The Assam Police has also decided to go for a thorough documentation of the witch hunting cases so that the menace can be tackled with proper identification of the related issues. The documentation will be done under the Project Prahari in collaboration with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The Assam Police will bring out a book in different languages to be distributed among the social groups working to eradicate the menace so that mass awareness can be generated in the affected and vulnerable areas.
Meanwhile, many police officers feel that the State should have a special legislation to deal with the menace of witch hunting. Police sources pointed out that at present, the witch hunting cases are registered as normal murder cases and it is difficult to go for proper documentation of such cases. Moreover, when a whole village is involved in a case, it is difficult to pinpoint the main culprit and it is almost impossible to collect evidence as no one comes forward to testify against anyone. Several other States including Bihar and Jharkhand have already enacted special legislation to deal with witch hunting and it is high time Assam also makes such legislation in the face of spurt in such cases.