The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice, returnable in four weeks, to Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police, seeking reports on an incident in which a person was forced to eat human excreta for allegedly practising witchcraft.

The Commission was taking suo motu cognisance of media reports, which stated that the gram panchayat of Wahkdait gave the punishment to Noping Khongsit, based on reports from four girls of the village. The girls alleged he appeared in their dreams and frightened them with snakes. Believing their statements, the local ‘dorbar’ declared him guilty of practising witchcraft, held him responsible for scaring the girls and punished him by making him eat human excreta, the reports said. The Commission observed that the incident, if true, was a serious violation of the right of the individual to live with dignity.