Women in this District are reported to have been branded as witches since the days of the Aryans and are accused of possessing evil powers such as the power to curse, the power to utter dreadful maledictions and powers to even turn men into fauns. Once branded a witch, these women who belong to the lowest rungs of society are hunted down, stripped, stoned, beaten and forced to eat their own excreta. Very often, they are sentenced to gory deaths. The traditional sorcerer, who is locally known as 'Badwa Bhagat', is said to possess mystical powers to identify a witch.
The sorcerers in this tribal belt are revered by people as they remain a source of probable solutions to all physical, mental and environmental problems. They capitalize on the superstitious nature of the people here. The motives to brand a woman a witch could be many and include old family feuds, jealousy or the desire to usurp her property and the sorcerer is bribed to declare a woman as a witch. In the tribal areas, even today, people believe that all mishaps are caused by some woman casting evil spells.
The sorcerer claims to have the ability to detect a witch by playing over the head of a woman with a handful of grain with his eyes shut, head roving and pretending to be in a trance. ...Show more