07/14/2015, 00.00
NEPAL
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Witchcraft in Nepal: Two women convicted for the murder of a child

by Christopher Sharma
The practice of black magic is common in the Hindu community in the south of the country. To honor the gods and learn witchcraft gurus dictate the murder of children and the extraction of their fresh blood. In contrast, adults are burnt alive. Investigators suspect other crimes that go unreported.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - The court in the southern district of Rautahat in Nepal has sentenced two people, a woman and her teacher of Hindu gurus practices, for killing a child of three years and extracting the child’s blood in order to learn the art witchcraft. Mahadevi Yadav and the guru Chhabilal Raya have been handed down life imprisonment and confiscation of all property.

The incident dates back to three years ago, when the two women were arrested on charges of murdering little Nitesh, son of Ganesh Raya Yadav, who was only three years old. The case brought to light magical rituals that are still very popular among superstitious Hindus who live in the south of the country. Investigators in the southern regions report the practice the killing of children and men are burned alive in the name of witchcraft.

After the reading of the verdict, Mahadevi Yadav admitted: "My teacher Chhabilal Raya asked me to find a child, kill it and offer its fresh blood to honor the gods. I had to do it to learn witchcraft. I only murdered a child. There are many people who practice witchcraft and even killed because their teachers say that if they do not kill a child and extract the fresh blood,  they cannot have complete knowledge. "

Badri Prasad Lamichhane, an official of the Court of Appeal Hetaunda, said after the session: "We have been informed of these magic rituals but did not know children were also sacrificed and their blood was offered to learn this superstitious practice" . The two judges, Kumar Prasad Pokhrel and Sarita Sharma, who wrote in the ruling that women have committed a "heinous crime to learn superstition". They called the murder "inhuman", so both "deserve to be punished."

Lamichhane reports: "Few cases like this are brought to court. There may be many other evil practices. The court will judge such cases and condemn the guilty to severe penalties to deter such behavior. "

The suspicion that there are many unknown crimes is confirmed by Krishna Gautam, senior police officer and head of the office for women and children. "We are on the alert – he says - and we suspect that there are many more crimes. The practice of witchcraft is predominant in the superstitious Hindu community in southern Nepal. Killing a child for these purposes is an evil crime. We have to make people more aware and to prevent such cases from happening again. "

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