Mumbai: In a rare conviction under the state’s Anti-Superstition and Black Magic Act, 2013, a 47-year-old man has been sentenced to one-year of rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 5,000 for promising to ward off evil purportedly cast over a woman. He was also sentenced to seven years in jail for raping the victim in the same incident.
A sessions court in Dindoshi found the man guilty under the a provision of the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013. The act criminalises acts such as black magic, human sacrifice and use of magic remedies to exploit people’s superstitions.
Man impersonated as kinnar
The Mankhurd resident had impersonated a kinnar and entered the household of a tuition teacher, offering to solve her problems. He got her engaged in rituals by asking her for lemon, turmeric and rice. At the time, she also received a phone call. There was another tuition teacher present there. He seemingly cast a spell on the visitor, took her to the bathroom and sexually assaulted her, during which she learnt that he is a man and not kinnar.
He then told her that she would die and not have children if she disclosed the incident to anyone. After he left, the victim confided in her colleague. The women later waited for the accused to return to the locality and filed a complaint against him.
The court said that the accused, by pretending to be a kinnar, put turmeric and rice on the forehead of the victim and her colleague. “In our Indian traditional society, people have faith in the blessings of kinnars. They take blessings from them on several occasions like marriages and birth of children,” it said, adding that the accused took the benefit of this faith and indulged in oral sex with the victim.
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