The Gauhati high court has ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into allegations against an Assam minister that he had branded two sisters as witches and harassed them in a bid to grab their land in Karbi Anglong district.
Chief Justice A K Goel and Justice Arup Kumar Goswami in an order stated that there appears to be a failure of duty by state functionaries concerned and directed the CBI to conduct the probe and submit its report within three months.
It was possible to draw inference against Hill Areas Development Minister Khorsing Engti for abuse of his position and commission of crime and, therefore, the matter might require appropriate investigation by some independent agency to uphold the rule of the law, the order given on January 22 said.
The high court took up the case suo motu last year in cognisance of a letter dated May 4, 2012 written by two sisters Radhika Shah and Gayatri Shah to the Chief Justice alleging serious violation of their human rights by Engti.
The sisters also alleged that they were branded as witches and were accused of hiding skeletons and bones in their house to practise black magic.
They also complained that they were made to consume human excreta and stripped before villagers. The sisters had alleged that they have been subjected to physical and mental torture for the past six years by Engti who wanted to grab their land, which is adjacent to his residence in Howraghat police station area in the district.