At a remote village Kamboh on the banks of the Beas river in the Harike wetland area, Sukkho is a reputed “witchcraft expert”. Poor like Pallo, she lives with her three daughters-in-law, of whom two are pregnant, even as the family’s other children play around in poverty.
Sukkho, at work “in paddy fields”, was not around the house, while her son denied that she was into supernatural practices. He stood in a small room built around a dried small tree that has some bridal bangle sets and other strange objects hung over or tied to it. The pictures of many gods and goddesses were placed on a bed. “She prays here,” the son said, unable to explain the relevance of the objects tied to the trunk.
He requested the HT team not to write about the premises, saying the family feared the Sikh clergy of Amritsar. He also said waiting for his mother would be futile. He fears Tarksheel Society also, since a year ago, it made the family sign an undertaking that it would not promote superstition.