Palghar (Maharashtra): Five people were arrested in Maharashtra’s Palghar district for allegedly repeatedly raping a 35-year-old woman for several years as part of a “black magic” ritual “for the family’s peace and success”, police said on Sunday.
These suspects, who are friends of the victim’s husband, exploited her vulnerability by promising to eliminate purported “vastu mistakes” in her home and counteract evil spells through black magic rituals, a police official said.
The ordeal began in April 2018 when the accused convinced the victim that her husband was under a malevolent spell. To restore peace, they insisted that she participate in certain rituals.
These perpetrators would visit her residence when she was alone, administer “panchamrit”, which was actually a spiked drink, and then sexually assault her.
The incidents unfolded in locations such as Yeoor forest in Thane, a religious institution in Kandivali, and a resort in Lonavala.
In addition to the sexual assaults, the accused extorted gold and money from the victim, alleging that these were required for various rituals to ensure peace, prosperity, and a secure government job for her husband.
The criminals managed to take away a total of Rs 2.10 lakh cash and valuable gold items.
Following the woman’s complaint, which was filed on September 11, a police team took action and arrested the suspects.
Authorities are now investigating whether these individuals employed a similar modus operandi to victimise others.
The accused face charges under the Indian Penal Code, including under Sections 376 (rape), 376(2)(n) (repeatedly committing rape on the same woman), and 420 (cheating).
Furthermore, the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil, and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act of 2013 has been invoked in this case, Palghar’s Superintendent of Police Balasaheb Patil said.