Friday, June 13, 2008

Indian "Witchcraft" Killings

Remember how impressed I was that Kenyan law enforcement stepped up and arrested 120 suspects in response to the lynching of 15 people accused of witchcraft? Let's hope that India takes a lesson from the Kenyan authorities.

Earlier this week a family in northeastern India was accused of witchcraft and murdered by a mob of local villagers. The case is similar to what happened in Kenya, except that no arrests have been made in the case and no official statements from law enforcement regarding prosecutions have been forthcoming.

I'm not that familiar with Indian police procedures, but let's hope that no statements have been made because they are out there building a case against the perpetrators. Nobody should be able to get away with a crime like this.

UPDATE: Police have made three arrests in the case. That's just pitiful considering that the entire village was involved. Not only that, but this latest article includes a number of quotes from people justifying the killings. See, these "witches" were herbalists. Somebody brought in a (likely very) sick person for treatment and they died anyway, so obviously the patient was murdered by witchcraft! I would say this level of ignorance was unbelievable except that I've seen way too much of it to be surprised any more.

The authorities are really sending the wrong message here. This was a mob killing and everyone involved - most of the village - was responsible. Storming in and arresting them all would have at least shown they were serious about prosecuting similar future crimes. I'm guessing that Kenya is going to be seeing a lot fewer witchcraft killings than India will in the near future (per capita, of course).

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble

No comments: