An 11-year-old girl was allegedly killed by her mother and aunt last week after they performed “black magic” on the child to cure a complaint of constipation. Investigations said the women believed that the girl would be reborn as a better person after she died. The girl’s parents and aunt have been arrested and are in police custody. According to the police, the deceased, Saniya Bhekre, who lived with her parents in Manvelpada in Virar, had complained of severe stomach pain on Saturday night. Instead of taking her to a doctor, Saniya’s mother Meenkashi, who claimed to have been possessed, decided to cure the child herself.
The police said Meenakshi stood on Saniya’s chest and stamped on her hard with her feet. When Saniya cried out in pain and tried to resist, Meenakshi allegedly ordered her sister Madhuri Patil to hold down her arms and legs, the police said.
“By 10 pm on Saturday, Saniya stopped moving. The women and the girl’s father, Ambaji Bhekre, kept the body and did not take it to the hospital,” said an officer at Virar police station.
Only on Sunday when Saniya was still motionless, Meenakshi contacted her brother Sanjay Patil and told him that Saniya was seriously ill. The police said he took Saniya to a hospital in Virar east where doctors declared her dead upon arrival. A post-mortem revealed serious injures to the girl’s chest, neck and private parts, the police said. On questioning Saniya’s family, the police found they had performed some black magic rituals in an attempt to cure’s Saniya stomach ache. “The accused believed that once the girl died, she would be reborn as a better person. But when the girl did not wake up, they panicked,” said Jayant Bajbale, the Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Virar.
He added that Saniya’s father, Ambaji, who works as a private security guard was at home at the time of the assault and did nothing to stop it. All three have been booked for murder under the Indian Penal Code and committing acts banned by the Anti Superstition and Black Magic Act. They are in police custody.