Citing National Crime Bureau statistics, a Dehra Dun-based NGO has said that nearly 150-200 women are killed every year in the country after being tagged as ‘witches.'

Jharkhand tops the list with 50-60 witchcraft-related murders every year, followed by Andhra Pradesh, where the number is around 30, Haryana with 25-30 and Orissa with 24-28 deaths, Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK) chairman Avdhash Kaushal said.

According to a study conducted by RLEK, more than 2,500 women were killed in the past 15 years after being accused of practising witchcraft.

Five women were stripped and paraded naked last year at Patharghatia village in Jharkhand's Deodhar district. In another incident, a 40-year-old woman was allegedly lynched by her women neighbours at Sikariatand village in Simdega district of the same State, Mr. Kaushal said.

“It is very sad that women are still being killed rampantly after being declared witches. A majority of these incidents are not reported in the media,” he said, adding that a national legislation was needed to overcome the menace.

“We will soon file a writ petition in the court of law to seek a remedy in the form of legislation from Parliament on the issue,” he said.

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