Existing laws in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) are strong enough to deal with assault and murder carried out during witch-hunts, Home Minister LahkmenRymbui said today.
The minister said this after the recent death in West Khasi Hills of an octogenarian who was buried alive after his relatives came to believe that he was practising witchcraft.
Moris (also spelled as Boris by the police) Marngar (83) was buried alive by members of his own clan in Nongdisong village on October 7. They believed he had cast a spell on a relative who had been ailing for the past few months. The body was exhumed by authorities yesterday and handed over to family members for burial after a post-mortem.
“I strongly condemn such acts of lynching and superstitions,” Rymbui said. “I sympathise with the family of the person who died in this circumstance,” he added while promising that the law would be brought to bear against the perpetrators.
“The laws that are in place can take care of all crimes, be is assault or murder. The IPC and CrPC are there to take care of these,” he said when asked whether Meghalaya should frame laws specifically to deal with witch-hunts.
He also cautioned that there is no need to take the law into one’s own hands as the police are available if there is any suspicious activity.
Eight people have been arrested so far and charge sheets will be registered against them very soon, he added.