GUWAHATI, Sept 6 - The two persons accused of "witchcraft" at Diplunga Tea Estate, Sootea, in Biswanath district were rehabilitated in their village on Thursday by the police after the villagers gave a written statement that they would cause the duo no harm or call them "witches."
Jamini Tanti and Nandeswar Tanti alias Karu were rescued by the police on August 22 after a series of sensational events at Diplunga, in which 50-year-old Jamini was accused of killing her grandson through "witchery."
According to the police, the rehabilitation process was initiated after ensuring the collective consent of the villagers, including Jamini's son, Nirmal Tanti. The move was executed in the presence of representatives of the district administration, management of the tea garden, police and Army personnel.
In the written statement, copies of which are available with The Assam Tribune, both the 'victims' and the villagers mutually agreed on staying in the same village. The tea garden management also agreed to compensate Jamini for the loss of her wages due to the incident.
"�We won't physically assault her or mentally torture her. We will also not call Jamini or Nandeswar witches and will not hate her any more," the statement read.
Human rights activist Dibyajyoti Saikia, who organised an awareness meeting at Diplunga on August 25, said it was a positive development and awareness meetings play a key role in dispelling superstitious beliefs. He, however, urged the district administration to keep a close watch on the situation.
"Creating awareness among the masses is the key to deal with superstition-related cases. However, ample legal tools are also required both for the police and social activists to deal with such issues effectively," he said.
He reiterated the need to expedite the process of enacting the Anti-Witch Hunting Bill and implementing it in letter and spirit.