Mumbai: Maharashtra heralds a progressive new era with a comprehensive law banning black magic, witchcraft and other superstitious practices coming into effect, officials said on Sunday.
Governor K Sankaranarayanan signed an Ordinance on Saturday evening which will curb all these practices, and award stringent punishment for practitioners. Maharashtra is the first state in the country to enact such a law.
The state government is likely to notify the law, which stipulates a maximum sentence of up to seven years in jail for various practices, by Monday.
The move comes five days after the killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, the founder-head of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), which was at the forefront of the movement against these blind and often harmful practices.
Among other things, the new law will ban inhuman practices, human sacrifice, rituals to enable sex selection by pregnant women, and all forms of acts known as ‘Jaadu-Tona’ in common parlance.