A 26-year-old man was arrested by the police on Thursday for duping a Kandivali-based homemaker of over Rs 3 lakh after convincing her that her house was haunted by ghosts.
The accused, Sagar Joshi, who went door-to-door, asking for alms, was exposed when the homemaker and her family started facing more problems, after starting to follow the self-proclaimed godman’s instructions.
Charkop police senior inspector Ramchandra Gaikwad said that Joshi visited the residence of the complainant in May 2015. He asked her for money to carry out a sacrifice. She said her husband was away working and she did not have money. He then told her that even Rs 11 would be fine. The complainant agreed to this and the duo got talking.
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According to the police, Joshi then told her that he could sense that her house was haunted by evil spirits because of which relations between her, her husband and her daughter remained sour. The complainant started to trust Joshi who claimed to be a godman and that he knew the solution to her problems. He told her she would need to pay him Rs 25,000 so that he could sacrifice a goat on their behalf in Tuljapur to drive away the evil spirits.
“Under one pretext or the other, he kept taking money from her. Over a period between May and December 2015, Joshi collected Rs 3.65 lakh from the victim,” Gaikwad said.
Instructing the homemaker to not tell her husband about the exorcism practices, he once claimed that her in-laws and husband had done black magic on her and her 9-year-old daughter because of which they had been facing health issues.
“He took them to a beach in Malwani, asked them to sit there and circled them several times. He then used turmeric and started chanting,” the senior inspector added.
Over time, however, the 43 year-old homemaker realised that her problems had been aggravating. She started questioning Joshi why the sacrifices were not helping.
Realising that she had been duped, the homemaker approached the Charkop police station station and an FIR was registered against the accused under sections of the IPC and the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman Evil and Aghori Practises and Black Magic Act 2013. The police have the custody of the accused till Monday.