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A 'rogue' ghost on police files

A 'rogue' ghost on police files

india Updated: Jul 11, 2006 02:49 IST

He is no ordinary criminal — for he wears a cloak of invisibility. The police in Assam’s Boko district are on a wild goose chase for there have no clue to his whereabouts.

When a harried Sunil Das filed a complaint with the Boko police that he was being “tormented” by ghosts and their “human mentors”, they thought Das was joking. But an order from the district magistrate — seeking a “comprehensive” report on the “unseen criminals”— made them sit up.

A month ago, the 26-year-old resident of Bamunigaon Camp moved the court of the Kamrup judicial magistrate accusing his neighbours —Harimohan, Sachin and Padu Barman — of unleashing their army of “pet djinns and poltergeists” which allegedly tortured him “mentally and physically”.

Das alleged that the Barman brothers were sorcerers — notorious for practising black magic that included setting their “obedient but malevolent” ghosts on people against whom they had an axe to grind. “They have been letting these spirits loose on me, subjecting me to physical and mental torture,” he complained. Das said the “local” authorities had ignored his complaints as they were under the spell of Barman brothers.

But matters came to a head when ducks and chicken from Das’ poultry farm and areca nuts from his plantation started vanishing. The youth alleged that the “djinns” were stealing them to help their masters perform “black rites”. The court registered a case under Sections 380 (theft) and 448 (trespassing) and told Das to lodge a fresh FIR.

“We have dealt with hardcore criminals and armed militants, but this is the first time we have been asked to pursue a case with a spooky angle to it,” said a police official from Boko. “We are yet to crack the case, but investigation is on.” Black magic in common in rural Assam, bred on myths and superstitions. Witch-craft-related deaths and “ritual sacrifices” are rampant in the countryside.