Kalyan police on Sunday arrested three persons, including a godman, and detained a minor for allegedly performing an exorcism on two of their family members which eventually led to their death.
According to police, the godman, Surendra Patil (35), told the family members that Pandrinath Tare (50) and his mother Chandubai (72) had “evil powers” following which their family members, including Tare’s 17-year-old son, beat them to death. The incident took place at Atali village in Kalyan on Saturday, police said.
Tare’s niece Kavita (27), nephew Vinayak (22) and son were in touch with Patil, who had told them that while Kavita had “supernatural powers”, Tare and Chandubai had “evil powers” that would lead to the family’s downfall, an officer said. Patil also told them that in order to rid them of the evil influence, they would have to carry out an exorcism ritual that involved covering the mother-son duo with turmeric and then hitting them.
On Saturday night, the trio put turmeric on the mother-son duo and flogged them with bamboo sticks a few hours before the latter fell unconscious, police said. When neighbours took the duo to a local hospital they were declared dead.
Local Khadakpada police recorded the statement of the parties concerned, during which they found out about the ritual and the godman. “We have arrested three persons, including Patil, and apprehended the 17-year-old son on charges of murder in addition to sections of the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013,” said an officer from Khadakpada police station.
Senior Inspector Ashok Pawar of Khadakpada police station said as Kavita was behaving unusually, Tare had told the accused to approach the godman a few months ago. The family, he added, resided in Kalyan and had rented out flats in the area from which they earned money.
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