Maharashtra may have been the first state to pass a law against black magic and superstitious acts, but such beliefs and practices are still rampant. Even within city limits, people can be spotted performing black magic, as mid-day discovered while passing through Aarey Milk colony late at night recently.
On Monday night, this reporter saw a group carrying out a clandestine ritual with these materials in Aarey Colony. When asked about it, however, the group fled the spot
With its secluded woods and internal roads, the area is feared by many due to both criminal activities and supernatural reasons. On the Internet there are various websites that claim Aarey is haunted, and tales about its ghosts have prompted many motorists and auto rickshaw drivers to avoid the area at night.
On Monday night, at around 11.45 pm, while travelling by one of Aarey’s internal roads near Lotus lake, this correspondent spotted a group of five people — two of them appeared to be tantriks — performing some ritual by the road, using a few lemons, a small doll wrapped in a black cloth, a model of an auto rickshaw, some eggs, garlands, incense sticks and a vessel containing water and milk.
Beside these items was a rangoli, as well as a few sticks laid out parallel to each other. As soon as the group saw us approaching, however, they started to rush off. Asked what they were doing, one of them said, “Someone is unwell; we had come here to do a pooja.” They immediately got into a jeep and drove off.
A local resident who did not wish to be named said, “Such activities are common in Aarey and there is a need for more patrolling here in order to curb them. The area is a hotspot amongst tantriks, especially during amavasya and purnima nights.”
This, despite the fact that the state passed the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act in 2013. Hamid Dabholkar, son of slain anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar who had spent years crusading for such a law, said, “It is the duty of the police to stop such activities and take strict action as per the law against those who are involved.
While people think such things happen only in rural areas, this incident shows that even in urban areas, such practices, including human sacrifice, take place. The police should be more vigilant, and there is a need to create more awareness about this.”
“We are not aware about any such activity, but in case we find anyone doing anything against the law, strict action will be taken. Our officers have attended the anti-black magic seminar and awareness sessions and are trained to handle such situations. We appeal to the people to inform us about such incidents,” said Senior Police Inspector Vilas Chavan from Aarey police station.