mid-day editorial: Here's hoping that sense eclipses superstition

Published: Feb 02, 2018, 06:07 IST | mid-day correspondent

A 70-year-old woman was found brutally murdered with her throat slit in her flat in the city's western suburbs. At the time of going to press, reports stated that police said the woman's son is the prime suspect

A 70-year-old woman was found brutally murdered with her throat slit in her flat in the city's western suburbs. At the time of going to press, reports stated that police said the woman's son is the prime suspect. He had allegedly told his friend to inform the police about the murder and then fled the scene.

The 45-year-old son is employed, but neighbours said he was also a tantrik who 'helped' people from time to time. What has added a superstitious twist to the murder is the timing of the crime - it took place on Wednesday evening, around the time of the lunar eclipse. Human sacrifice has not been ruled out as a motive.

What is important though is the fact that yet another senior citizen murder has proved how vulnerable this demographic remains. Unfortunately, at many times, the dangers lie within, so elderly people should be careful with whom they trust.

There is also the bigger picture of tantriks, sacrifices, superstitions and other such dangerous practices. There's no way yet to know who the culprit is, but the mere fact that human sacrifice is a possible motive, is an indication that such mumbo-jumbo still exists, even in urban areas.

If you know or witness self-proclaimed tantriks and healers using dangerous and possibly lethal methods, report them. Discourage people from consulting these 'babas' if you learn about it. Spread awareness about 'bogus' tantriks and their hollow claims of a cure.

Women, especially, are easy targets. In rural areas, it is usually women who are branded as witches or harbingers of misfortune, and are then subjected to violence or even murder. Stamp out this chicanery and nab charlatans who are fakes and criminals.

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