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Mass suicide bid in Vadodara: Two shamans remanded in 7-day police custody

The Vadodara police, on March 12, had arrested two of the nine shamans booked for cheating the family that allegedly spent Rs 32.5 lakh on various rituals advised by the shamans to “ward off bad luck from their business”.

By: Express News Service | Vadodara |
Updated: March 14, 2021 2:15:16 am
mass suicideA local court in Vadodara on Saturday remanded the two shamans, arrested in the case of cheating Soni family of Sama which attempted suicide on March 3, to seven days in police custody.

A local court in Vadodara on Saturday remanded the two shamans, arrested in the case of cheating Soni family of Sama which attempted suicide on March 3, to seven days in police custody.

The Vadodara police, on March 12, had arrested two of the nine shamans booked for cheating the family that allegedly spent Rs 32.5 lakh on various rituals advised by the shamans to “ward off bad luck from their business”.

Five of the six persons from the family, who attempted suicide, have died.

The two accused, identified as Gajendra Bhargav, arrested from Khinchar village of Nagra taluka of Rajasthan and Sitaram Bhargav alias Sahil Vohra from Kuchera village, fleeced the family of Rs 4 lakh and Rs 3.5 lakh respectively in August 2020, police has said, based on the statement of Bhavin Soni, who also succumbed to the poison on Sunday this week.

The police case booked at Sama police station has stated that eight shamans who ‘duped’ the family are linked to Vadodara based Hemant Joshi, who is also absconding. Gajendra is said to be a relative of Joshi’s and had allegedly faked his death after taking the money from the family.

PD Parmar, Police Inspector of Sama police station said, “We are now probing the connection of these two accused with the rest of the shamans. We have come across information that they used to run an office in Vadodara until a couple of years ago and placed advertisements to lure people into their trap by promising eradication of evil eyes and bad luck. The other accused are still at large and our teams have fanned into the neighbouring states. We will question the two accused to get clues on their modus operandi in cheating many other desperate and unsuspecting persons.”

Meanwhile, Parmar added that the 25-year-old daughter in law of the family, Urvi, who is the only surviving member out of the six, has shown improvement in her condition.

Urvi, who was admitted to SSG hospital and is on ventilatory support is said to be recovering. “She is stable as of now,” Parmar said.

The family of six had attempted suicide on March 3, following pressure to repay a sum of Rs 23 lakh to a prospective buyer of their mortgaged home.

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