Bharuch and Vadodara police are on the lookout for a Rajasthan-based ‘tantrik’, who allegedly influenced a man to abduct his relative’s daughters to offer them in human sacrifice, in Bharuch.
In a joint operation, four teams — Bharuch Police, Crime Branch Bharuch, RR Cell Vadodara and Crime Branch Vadodara — arrested the accused, Kanti Rathod (44) from Vadodara railway station on May 5 night. The girls, aged 16 and 4 are safe.
Police said that Rathod, a native of Aravalli, abducted the girls on May 1 night and was preparing to kill them to please a deity, on the instructions of a tantrik. The police have learned that the tantrik’s first name is ‘Nawal’, and have found out his phone number.
“The tantrik was in touch with the accused by phone, instructing him about performing the ritual, telling him to make the victims drink water at a specific time, apply an ayurvedic paste on their bodies and perform ‘vashikaran’ (‘magic spell’) on the kids,” Rajendra Chudasama, Superintendent of Police (Bharuch), said. “We also learned that the tantrik comes to Gujarat every now and then to sell dubious medicines. Teams have been formed to arrest him as soon as possible.”
Police said Rathod, a labour contractor, wanted to remarry, after his wife left him 10 years ago. “The tantrik asked him to sacrifice the two girls at Pavagadh if he wanted a beautiful wife to marry. His former wife had left him 10 years ago,” said Vikram Kothia, senior police inspector, Bharuch C division police station.
Police said Rathod lured his former wife’s sister and family to Bharuch from Vadodara, promising to find them jobs. They arrived on May 1 morning, accompanied by Rathod. He dropped the parents at a construction site and abducted the girls and took them to Vadodara bus stand.“From there, he took a bus to Bhavnagar on May 1 night and booked a hotel. The elder girl got suspicious and, taking the help of strangers, caught a bus to Bharuch. She then approached the police and lodged a complaint,” said Kothia.
Police began tracking Rathod, who fled from Bhavnagar to Gandhinagar with the four-year-old girl. “On May 4, he handed over the girl to a shopkeeper, Gela Bhai, near Gandhinagar bus stand, and asked him to put the child on a bus to Bharuch. When Gela made the girl sit in the bus, the conductor got suspicious and informed the police,” said Kothia.
Rathod was in custody for three days and then shifted to prison.