Updated: August 30, 2021 8:18:33 am
A 31-year-old woman in Pune district was allegedly subjected to a traumatising ritual where ashes given by a godman were smeared on her naked body to “help her give birth to a male child”. The woman was also subjected to four years of mental and physical harassment by her husband and mother-in-law after she gave birth to two daughters, police said.
A complaint has been filed at Mahalunge police post, which comes under Pimpri-Chinchwad police jurisdiction, by a woman who had been living with her in-laws in a village in Khed taluka until she returned to her parents’ house in Amravati district recently. Police have booked her husband, who is a labour contractor, his mother and the godman from a village near Kamshet.
The offence against them has been registered under the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013, along with relevant Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections pertaining to molestation, criminal intimidation and domestic violence. According to police, the man recently married another woman and has started living with her.
The complainant married the man in 2016 and in 2017, gave birth to her first daughter. Since then, her husband and his mother have been mentally and physically torturing her, police said. They used to hit her in the stomach and blame her for bringing bad luck to their house, police said. They also started demanding more gold valuables from her parents, police said. In 2020, their second daughter was born and the harassment by her husband and mother-in-law increased, police said. Her husband even threatened to kill her daughters, the woman has said in her complaint, according to police.
Fed up with the harassment, the woman returned to her parents’ house a few month ago with her two daughters, police said. In the third week of August, her husband brought her to Pune and she was taken to a godman in a village near Kamshet, where the latter performed a ritual and gave the couple a pack of ashes, police said. The woman said in her complaint that after coming home, she was forced to remove her clothes and the ashes were smeared on her body, police said.
Inspector Arvind Pawar of Mahalunge police post said, “The woman approached us recently with a complaint and an FIR was immediately registered after preliminary inquiry. We have invoked various sections of the IPC and the anti-superstition legislation.”
Inspector Dashrath Waghmode, the investigating officer of the case, said the police have arrested the mother-in-law and the godman, Baban Dagdu Pawar (49), while the husband is yet to be arrested.
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