A 35-year-old man who reportedly helped his brother-in-law practise exorcism was beaten to death allegedly by the locals following a heated argument during one such session past Thursday midnight under Mariyahun police station limits in Jaunpur district.
According to the police, Suresh Gautam of Belwa Dalit Basti had been taking lessons in exorcism from his brother-in-law Nanhe Gautam for the past few years and was also present on Thursday midnight when one Bhaiyya Lal brought his 15-year-old daughter Khushbu to them as she was ill.
“Nanhe began the procedure but after some time suddenly demanded Rs 25,000 from the girl’s parents in order to fully cure her. When the mother refused, an altercation ensued with Nanhe threatening them with ‘ghosts’ who he said would ensure always created problems in the village if he was not paid. There were allegations that Nanhe also physically tortured the girl. Upon hearing the commotion, the neighbouring family who had a similar experience with Nanhe in the past arrived there. In order to save himself, Nanhe put the blame on Suresh, holding him responsible for everything going wrong in the village. The angry villagers started beating up Suresh when one of them, identified as Dheeraj, stabbed him with a knife. Suresh was rushed to a nearby hospital but died due to excessive bleeding,” said Station Officer (Mariyahun) Arvind Pandey.
Based on a complaint filed by Suresh’s wife Anita, an FIR against Nanhe and four members of a family (Dheeraj, his brother Neeraj and two others, Rajnarayan and Phoolchandra) have been registered. “All the accused are absconding but they will be arrested soon,” Pandey said.
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