The accused men used to drug her by giving her a spiked drink calling it ‘panchamrit’ and then raped her, police said.
New Delhi: A 35-year-old woman in Palghar district of Maharashtra was allegedly drugged and repeatedly raped by her husband’s friends over a span of nearly five years on the pretext of correcting “vastu mistakes” and removing “evils spells” from her house with the help of black magic.
Police have arrested five men– all friends of the victim’s husband– in Thane and Palghar districts. Giving details, senior official said the accused convinced her that some evil spell had been cast on her husband and to regain peace she would have to partake in some black magic rituals.
“The accused started frequenting the house of the victim from April 2018 and would conduct rituals when the victim was alone,” he said, adding that the suspects used to drug her by giving her a spiked drink calling it ‘panchamrit’ and then raped her.
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 told news agency PTI.
In an official statement, Palghar Superintendent of Police Balasaheb Patil 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) 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.
(With PTI inputs)