A tribal woman from Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri district was allegedly gang-raped twice and tortured by having a hot iron rod inserted in her genitals after her attackers, who had earlier branded her a witch, blamed her for the death of some malnourished children in their village.
The 33-year-old woman, who was turned out of her village a year ago, was taken to Gwalior for treatment in a critical condition after she was gang-raped for the second time on Sunday evening by a group of tribesmen.
The men – Janved, Shersingh, Budva, Ramdayal, Sonkariya and another youngster – singed her genitals and inserted a hot iron rod into her, police said.
According to police, the same group of men gang-raped the woman three days ago and threatened to kill her two children if she revealed the assault to anyone. This forced the shaken woman to keep mum, police said.
The attacks occurred after three children died of malnutrition over the past few days. A group of villagers claimed the deaths were the “handiwork” of the woman. Hindustan Times has withheld the name of the village to protect the woman’s identity.
The woman had been thrown out of the village a year ago after local residents declared her a “witch” and subjected her family to a social boycott, sources told Hindustan Times. The people claimed the woman used witchcraft to kill anyone who had a tiff with her.
The police and local administration swung into action after someone from the village informed the Govardhan police station about the assaults.
Additional superintendent of police Alok Kumar confirmed the incident and said one of the accused had been arrested while the rest would be picked up “soon”.