New Delhi: Five persons were arrested in Maharashtra’s Thane and Palghar districts for allegedly raping a 35-year-old woman repeatedly on the pretext of correcting the “vastu errors” and other “evil spells” in her house through black magic, news agency PTI quoted a police official as saying.
“The accused started frequenting the house of the victim from April 2018 and would carry out rituals when she was alone. They would offer her a spiked drink calling it ‘panchamrit’ and would then rape her,” PTI quoted the officer as saying.
The five arrested have been identified as the friends of her husband. According to police, the accused told the woman that some "evil spell" had been cast on her husband and in order to ward that off, they would have to carry out certain rituals at her house.
The accused also took gold and cash from her claiming it was a part of the rituals. and that they would ensure peace and prosperity, and also help her husband find a stable government job, police said, as reported by PTI.
"She was first raped in 2019 in Yeoor forest in Thane, then in a mutt that belonged to the main accused in Kandivali, and later at a resort in Lonavala. They also took Rs 2.10 lakh cash as well as gold from her," the officer told the news agency.
The woman from Talasari, a predominantly tribal area in the Palghar district, filed a complaint on September 11 based on which the police arrested the five accused – Ravindra Bhate, Dileep Gaikwad, Gaurav Salvi, Mahendra Kumavat and Ganesh Kadam.
"We are finding out if they have had the same modus operandi on others as well," Talasari police station senior inspector Vijay Mutadak told PTI.
The five have been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 376 (rape) 376(2)(n) (offense of committing rape repeatedly on the same woman) 420 (cheating), Palghar Superintendent of Police Balasaheb Patil said.
“The Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act 2013 has also been invoked, ” Patil added.