Thane: A woman and her son, suspected to be ‘possessed’ by evil spirits, were allegedly flogged to death during an exorcism ritual by their relatives and an occultist, Kalyan police officials said here on Sunday.
It happened in the Khadakpada area of Kalyan on Saturday. Four persons, including a minor boy and a senior woman citizen, were arrested for the crime on Sunday.
According to an official, Chandubai Tare, 76, and her son Pandharinath Tare, 50, were suspected to be possessed by evil spirits by the family, which sought the help of a local occultist Surendra Patil, 35.
Patil claimed he could rid them of the ghosts and ensure return of happy times for the family. He reached their home on Sunday evening and performed some occult rituals with the help of family members.
After the rituals, they smeared turmeric powder on the two victims and started flogging them with sticks and canes to drive away the ghost. After a few hours of the assault, Chandubai Tare and Pandharinath Tare collapsed on the floor and died later.
Seeing this, the occultist and the family members panicked and ran away.
Later in the night, another relative, Devendra Bhoir, who had gone there, lodged a police complaint.
“We have arrested Surendra Patil, Kavita Kailas Tare and Vinayaka Kailas Tare, and sent to a juvenile home the fourth accused, who is a minor. They will be produced before a court later,” said an official.
The incident has evoked strong condemnation from Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti leaders, like Mukta Dabholkar, and other anti-superstition activists. They have sought stringent punishment for the accused.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.