Pune: A Pune-based woman took scripts from daily soaps too seriously, in her endeavour to separate her son from his live-in partner. The accused tried to prove that the latter was trapped by witchcraft, and told her that if she wanted to marry her son, she must undergo various rituals to be relieved of black magic.
The accused in police custody
The incident came to light when a 26-year-old woman approached Dehu Road police station, which falls under the jurisdiction of Pune rural police, lodged a complaint against her live-in partner’s mother, her friends Sangita Khude and Meena and also against a godman, who is on run. A case was filed after the volunteers of Andhashraddha Nirmoonan Samiti (ANIS) walked in to rescue her.
Speaking to mid-day, the victim said, “I am married and have two children in the age group of seven and eleven. From the past three years, I am staying at my maternal house with my mother. As my husband tortured me lot, I took shelter at my mother’s house. I work as a domestic maid and do tailoring jobs to sponsor my children’s education. From the last couple of months, I have been in a live-in relationship with a driver, who is unmarried. He takes care of my children and soon we had planned to marry. His family too was aware about it.”
She went on, “His mother use to talk to me politely and showed curiosity over incidents in my past. But, from the last one month, at night, someone used to drop ‘haldi-kumkum’ on my house on no moon day. Then, after some days, I found some a cut lemon covered with haldi-kumkum. I discuss this with my live-in partner’s mother, and she claimed that these are the bad signs, and that I am a victim of witchcraft. To overcome it, his mother suggested I visit Ahmednagar Dargah. Later, on her directions, I stayed there, but came to know that this was all an evil plan plotted by my would-be mother-in-law. Her friend Sangita restrained me in Ahmednagar for a week and they had plans to divert my live-in partner’s attention.”
The victim claimed that Sangita later brought her to Shivaji Nagar in Pune where she was introduced to another godman. “The godman tortured me physically by pulling my hair and putting lemon juice in my eyes. I smelt a rat and pretended to have fallen unconscious to save my life. Initially, the police made me run from pillar to post, but my daughter had a number of an ANIS member, and I approached them, after which the complaint was registered.”
Inspector Amar Waghmode of Dehu Road police station denied the allegation about police not taking cognisance of her grievances. He said, “The victim never came to us till ANIS brought her to us. We have arrested the culprits named by the victim. On interrogation, the victim’s would-be mother-in-law revealed that she never wanted her son to marry her as she had deserted by her husband and had two children. She claimed that she wanted to restrain her son. But, if she would directly oppose him, he would not listen him. So, inspired by a couple of daily soap serials, she got this evil idea of getting rid of the victim.”