Five people were arrested in Thane and Palghar districts in Maharashtra for allegedly raping a 35-year-old woman repeatedly after promising to remove ”vastu mistakes” in her house and other ”evils spells” through black magic, a police official said on Sunday.
The five people who have been arrested are the victim’s husband’s friends and they told her that some evil spell had been cast on her husband and that to regain peace she would have to be part of some rituals, the official said.
”The accused started frequenting the house of the victim in April 2018 and would conduct rituals when the victim was alone. They would give her a spiked drink, calling it ‘panchamrit’ and they would rape her,” he said.
The accused also took gold and money from her, claiming it was for various rituals that would ensure peace and prosperity and a stable government job for her husband, he said.
”She was raped in 2019 in Yeoor Forest in Thane, then in a mutt of the main accused in Kandivali, in a resort in Lonavala. They took Rs 2.10 lakh as well as gold from her,” he said.
After the woman from Talasari, a predominantly tribal area in the district, filed a complaint on September 11, a police team arrested Ravindra Bhate, Dileep Gaikwad, Gaurav Salvi, Mahendra Kumavat, and Ganesh Kadam for the crime.
”We are finding out if the five accused have used the same modus operandi on others as well,” Talasari police station senior inspector Vijay Mutadak said.
Palghar Superintendent of Police Balasaheb Patil, in an official release, said the five have been charged under Indian Penal Code sections 376 (rape), 376(2)(n) (offence of committing rape repeatedly on the same woman), and 420 (cheating).
The Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil, and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act 2013 has also been invoked, he said.