A state level sensitisation programme was organised for police personnel by the Assam State Commission for Women (ASCW) on Friday for intervention and prevention of witch hunting in the state. Police personnel from all the districts, especially those from the witch hunting affected areas such as Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Udalguri, Baksa, Chirang, etc, attended the programme held in Guwahati.
Addressing the police personnel present, Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay said, "police has the right to arrest on the basis of a complaint or information or reasonable suspicion in respect of a cognisable offence. In any suspicious case immediate action may be taken before commencement of further procedure".
Sahay also said the civic society has a large role to play in pointing out the vulnerable areas of witch hunting to the police so that necessary action may be taken. ASCW Chairperson Meera Barooah said her Commission has laid down methods for preventing killing of women, men and sometimes the entire family in the name of witch hunting, besides other matters relating to the crime. Vigilance committees had been set up in villages to monitor such evil practices, Barooah said.
The Commission has also undertaken measures to create awareness among the people against witch hunting by encouraging education and taking up health and socio economic development programmes. The other participants in the programme included Assam State Social Welfare Board Chairperson Pratima Devi Sarma, ASCW Member Secretary Monidipa Borkotoki, besides representatives from various NGOs.