A witch-hunt or a witch purge is a search for people who have been labelled witches or a search for evidence of witchcraft, and it often involves a moral panic or mass hysteria. The classical period of witch-hunts in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America took place in the Early Modern period or about 1450 to 1750, spanning the upheavals of the Reformation and the Thirty Years' War, resulting in an estimated 35,000 to 100,000 executions, with the most recent estimate at 40,000. The last executions of people convicted as witches in Europe took place in the 18th century. In other regions, like Africa and Asia, contemporary witch-hunts have been reported from sub-Saharan Africa and Papua New Guinea, and official legislation against witchcraft is still found in Saudi Arabia and Cameroon today.
In current language, "witch-hunt" metaphorically means an investigation that is usually conducted with much publicity, supposedly to uncover subversive activity, disloyalty, and so on, but with the real purpose of intimidating political opponents.
Witch hunting is still prevalent throughout India. An average of three to four cases of women being branded as witches in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. Women are often tormented, tortured, even murdered.