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- After the marriage, where I spent 50 years, I am a witch for that place, the one who enters the lugai body, eats the children.
From Bhilwara and Bundi from Rajasthan11 minutes agoAuthor Mridulika Jha
Evening time! I was domesticating the cattle when the neighbor came, grabbed my hair and started hitting me. He wanted you out of his body. He was screaming in pain and anger. He survived dying that day, but had to leave the village. I am now a witch for the place where I spent 50 years after getting married. Penetrating the body of the tunics. Children eating. Dry farm.
What is visible even before the problems in the eyes of Badami Devi, about 65, is desolation. Where he spent his whole life, in recent days the longing to get away with a stain. Badami from Ulela village in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan was accused of witchcraft a year ago. Everything has changed since then.
In the afternoon, the women who gathered to pickle and chop began to avoid returning home. Teej-festivals began to get lost, but mostly there was danger to life. Badami had to leave the village. He now lives in his daughter-Jamai’s house in Bundi district.
This is Badami Devi, 65, a resident of Bhilwara. The villagers call her a witch, they have even tried to kill him many times. That is why he is now leaving his village and his daughter lives here.
After traveling about 1260 km from Delhi to Udaipur, we arrived at his new residence. This is a pond village. People were ready as soon as our car entered the village of about 500 houses. It turns out they get scared to look like ‘people from the electricity department’. A lot of people say he’s back, the road is bad.
We go down and forward, pulling out the bushes. These barriers are put up by the villagers so that the electricity department does not get to their thefts.
Badami’s house is also outside the village, between the fields, where there is no house for a kilometer. His son Horulal Mali says: I left my mother here very carefully. Neither will she remain among the people, nor will the rumor spread. Once a piece is called a Dakan, it remains the same until death. Even if his body wound heals, the word “Dakan” will now follow him. And there is also fear in life. I’ve tried to kill once, don’t kill it again.
Even before our question is over, Badami starts telling me to Mewari: in the evening, the neighbor came home.
I was very angry and yelled as Dakan called me. I said I’m not a postman. I have kids and kids too, boats and boats too! Even then he disagreed and started hitting me. He said he should consider me a dakan and get out of the body of his clothes. In my repeated refusal, he got angry and dragged me to the raw well and pushed him there.
Badami’s son, Horulal, says that here the witch has become a kind of tradition. Despite having strict laws against the practice of witchcraft, these incidents happen every day in Bhilwara. For this reason the mother had to be taken to another village.
As she fell, Badami Devi grabbed the well pipe with her right hand. The villagers saved him, but they could not save him from the burden of dakan.
The incident is from October 5, 2021. After the incident, the video of the injured Badami Devi coming out of the well had also gone viral, but what spread even further was that Dokri (Badami) had demonic power. To fulfill their desires they enter the bodies of young people and make different demands.
Badami shows his broken left hand and says: I do everything from the right. It is useless now.
Her daughter Prema Bai is sitting nearby. Crying from the heat, the milkmaid tells the child to turn the hand fan: people also called me a witch. There were no children for 20 years of marriage, then everyone started to be afraid of me. Lugais did not approach that would force them to do anything. My mother-in-law also kept me from doing magic.
I ask, pointing to the child, and now? ‘now that! It’s been 20 years since I became a witch. Laughing Press speaks. They’re not going anywhere either.
This is Badami’s daughter, Prema Bai. He says stop talking about mom, a lot of people also call me witch.
Badami’s son Horulal was the only person who knew Hindi. Describing the whole incident sequentially, in the end he speaks: he almost killed his mother. He is alive as he is now. Well, she’s not alone, witch superstition (they call it tradition) is all over the district. Neighbors doubt whether the clothes are alone, old or have no children. When someone gets sick, or dries the milk of a pregnant cow, everyone surrounds the same woman and hits her.
We tell you that despite having strict laws against the practice of witchcraft in the country, these incidents happen every day in Bhilwara. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, in 2015 alone, 25 cases of witch hunts were reported in this district. At the same time, between 2000 and 2016, more than 2,500 women were murdered across the country. These women were suspected by the neighborhood of harming them with their demonic power. Women under suspicion of witchcraft are also treated in Banswara and Udaipur.
Those who “cure” the supposed witches are called Bhopa in the local dialect. He is usually a man who kills the demon inside by hitting the lugai, peeling his hair or staining it with a hot iron. Every Saturday, Bhopa decorates his tent and sits down and hides the witches.
The well of the village of Ulela, where Badami Devi was thrown. Trees and shrubs have grown in the rain near the deep hoodless well and here no one comes or goes for fear.
When we left the village of Talab, surrounded by small and large hills of Aravalli, it started to rain a lot. When we reached Ulela, the original village of Badami Devi, while stopping the taxi, the smell of moisture began to dissolve in the air. Ask whoever you want, before it gets dark. Today is also Tuesday. Witch’s Day! – said my local friend. We arrived at the well where Badami Devi was engaged. The grass and small plants had grown on its unpaved platform. I look down, but I can’t take a picture out of fear.
This is where Badami Devi’s neighbor, Kaluram, was located. They say: We have been seeing Amma for years. He doesn’t seem to post from anywhere. So how do you see yourself, have you ever seen him? In this he laughs and says- Yes, on Saturdays many places come to the Hanuman temple. They can be postcards. But we’ve never seen anyone do magic.
Next door is the house, where the Bali Devi lugai has a feel! Bhava means witch. When we got there, Bali was cooking rotis on the stove. With smoky eyes, he says – If the sensation comes, I don’t remember anything. Just know that after the birth of the first child, the witch began to enter me. More than 5 years ago, he has come more than 20 times.
She is Bali Devi, resident in Bhilwara district. His brother-in-law Ramswaroop claims that Bali has a witch disease. Sometimes he asks for 5,000 lipsticks and sometimes foreign food.
When the feeling comes, it changes completely: sitting there reminds me of Ramswaroop. He is this woman’s brother-in-law. According to Ramswaroop, in recent years, Bali has been ill due to witchcraft. As soon as the emotion arrives, his face becomes terrible, he starts running and biting, he starts shaking his head hard. They say: then anyone should be scared after seeing this. Madam, you too!
Miro Bali. The woman with long body and sun chopping thick breads. Eyes on the stove. In between, he looks at us. There is nothing on your face that should cause fear. Here Ramswaroop is saying: a witch enters his body and gets his wish fulfilled. Sometimes he asks for 5,000 lipsticks, sometimes expensive paper. Sometimes he asks for clothes, sometimes foreign food.
We haven’t had bread twice, but we’ve been buying expensive items for him for years, ”he says in a low voice.
I try to see the state of the house with a thief’s eye. A house with bricks without plaster. Thorn fence instead of the main door and the boundary. Clothes hang in the oasis. There are utensils. Bali Devi, 35, was also taken to a brain doctor last year. There the witch got scared after receiving electric shocks and now she is not even in the village – says Ramswaroop.
So now there is no fear of the witch and the witch? The fear is still there. There are ten locals in the village, who are becoming witches – they interrupt me as they say this – you don’t say those words over and over again. It is evening and also Tuesday.