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Two booked under anti-superstition law for duping family of over Rs 6 lakh

An FIR in this regard was lodged at Kondhwa police station, based on a complaint by a 36-year-old businessman from Salunke Vihar, whose brother has been suffering from an illness for the last three years.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
January 20, 2021 9:22:51 pm
The complainant approached police earlier this week through activists of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), an organisation founded by Dr Narendra Dabholkar that works towards eradicating superstitious practices. (Representational)

Two persons have been booked under the anti-superstition law after they allegedly cheated a family in Kondhwa by taking over Rs 6 lakh from them for four “special pigeons to remove a spell of black magic” cast on a family member by his estranged wife. Police have arrested one of the two suspects in the case.

An FIR in this regard was lodged at Kondhwa police station, based on a complaint by a 36-year-old businessman from Salunke Vihar, whose brother has been suffering from an illness for the last three years. Police have invoked the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013 along with relevant IPC sections.

Based on the complaint, police have booked Kutubuddin Nazmi and Hakeemuddin Malegaonwala, both residents of Kondhwa. Of the two, Nazmi (59) was arrested on Tuesday night and has been remanded to police custody. A search has been launched for Malegaonwala.

The complainant approached police earlier this week through activists of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), an organisation founded by Dr Narendra Dabholkar that works towards eradicating superstitious practices.

As per the FIR, the complainant’s 38-year-old elder brother, who had separated from his wife a few years ago, has been suffering from an illness. Despite consulting various specialists over the last couple of years, the brother was not getting any relief from his illness. In November last year, some members of the family came in contact with the two suspects. The duo allegedly told them a spell of black magic had been cast on the man by his estranged wife. They said they could get ‘special pigeons’ from a place in Mumbai to help the family get rid of the spell and demanded Rs 6.8 lakh for four of the birds. The family paid the amount in cash to the duo in the last week of November.

Subsequently, when friends and other elderly members of the family got to know of the money being paid for the pigeons, they convinced the complainant and others they had been cheated. When the family began demanding the money back from the duo, the suspects allegedly threatened them with dire consequences. While the duo did return Rs 3 lakh from the amount they had received, they refused to pay the remaining amount. The family subsequently approached police through MANS activists, who convinced them the claims made by the suspects and the act of taking money could attract prosecution under the anti-superstition law.

Senior inspector Sardar Patil, in-charge of Kondhwa police station said, “We have booked two persons under the anti-superstition legislation and one of them has been arrested.” Police sub-inspector P U Kapure, who is investigating the case said, “We arrested Nazmi on Tuesday night. He was produced before a court and has been remanded to police custody till Friday. We will be probing if these suspects have cheated more persons in this manner.”

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