Five days after three men were found hanging from a tree in a village in Shahapur taluka, Thane, the police booked one of the dead men and a friend who accompanied the three but did not take his own life, for performing black magic and abetting suicide.
Investigations have revealed that the deceased, Nitin Behere (35), his nephew Mukesh Gaiwat (22) and their friend Mahendra Dubhele (30), believed that by taking their own lives on November 14, a New Moon day when Laxmi puja was being celebrated, they would be immediately reborn with superhuman powers.
“Behere was a known believer in occult practices. The other two men were his disciples. He had led them to believe that by hanging themselves using sarees when the new moon became visible, they would not die,” said Navnath Dhavale, Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Shahapur.
Behere and another of his disciples, Sachin Kankoshe, were booked with abetting suicide. The police also invoked sections of the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act. On Thursday, the police arrested Kanokshe and produced him in court. Kankoshe was remanded to police custody until Saturday.
“On November 14, Kankoshe had gone shopping with the deceased and also accompanied them to the place where they hanged themselves. Despite knowing that his friends would kill themselves, he did not inform anyone,” Dhavale said.
The police came to know about the involvement of another man when they found a fourth noose made out of a saree hanging on the tree in Chande village, when the bodies of the deceased were discovered on November 20.
The deceased had gone missing from their homes on November 14. But their families only registered missing person’s complaints three days later after being unable to locate them.
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