Most people don’t usually think of Nepal — a predominantly, and once officially, Hindu country — as the sort of place where religious violence takes place. After all, it’s the birthplace of the famously non-violent Gautama Siddartha (aka the Buddha), which perhaps contributes to this perception. But while the so-called “eastern religions” are typically viewed as pacifist in nature, the truth is that they’re anything but. I’ve already blogged about metaphysically-motivated “honor killings” and mistreatment of “the Untouchables” in India, for example.
So really, despite this widespread assumption, it should (sadly) be no surprise that, as CNN reports, religious violence has claimed a life in the Buddha’s homeland (WebCite cached article):
A 40-year-old mother of two was burned alive in central Nepal after she was accused of being a witch, police said Saturday.
Dhegani Mahato was attacked and set on fire by family members and others after a shaman allegedly accused her of casting a spell to make one of her relatives sick, Police Officer Hira Mani Baral said. …
She was beaten with sticks and rocks before being doused with kerosene and set afire, an attack witnessed by her 9-year-old daughter, according to the local police report.
This is, unfortunately, not new. Harassment, torture, and even killing of accused witches has been going on in Nepal for a long time (cached). I’m sure the perpetrators of this crime are proud of what they did. But there is no way it can possibly be justified. None.
Photo credit: Naresh Newar / IRIN.Tags: bagauda, bagauda nepal, chitwan, chitwan district, dhegani mahato, mob, mob rule, nepal, peasants with pitchforks, witch, witch burning, witch killing, witches