A man who was in the business of cheating victims of misfortune and exploiting women on the pretext of carrying out rituals of exorcism to ‘treat’ them, has landed in jail after a woman he was allegedly trying to rape, raised an alarm.
The incident took place at the ‘exorcist’ Dharmraj Gond’s ashram (house) at Dasaunti village under Mohania police station area of Kaimur district in south western Bihar last week.
Gond, 60, landed in the police net when the wife of a young man, who had come to him for being treated for ‘cancer’ through exorcism, suddenly found the exorcist getting physical with her and called out to her relatives who were outside the room.
The woman’s family members, one of them an army man, informed Kaimur superintendent of police Harpreet Kaur on phone, causing the police to rush to the spot and arrest Gond. Five human skulls, Rs 18,000 cash and fake cash memos were recovered from the house.
Initial inquiries revealed Gond had been running the business for over two decades, involving others members of his family in the charade. He had criminal history and was jailed in a road robbery case in 1993.
Narrating the sequence of events leading to the rape bid, the victim said when she brought her husband, a youth from the Kudra police station area, he told her that her husband’s cancer was in an advanced stage and could be cured after performing ‘pooja’ costing Rs 20,000.
The ‘deal’ was settled at Rs 15,000 and the couple was called at night to Gond’s house for the special ‘pooja’ that would ‘cure’ the husband. She was taken alone to a dark room around midnight where human forms meant to resemble ‘Goddess Kali’ and ‘Bhairav’ blessed her.
“I became suspicious when the voice of ‘Kali’ was the same as that of Gond’s daughter-in-law who I had met during our earlier visits. So, when I found Gond getting physical with me, I immediately raised an alarm and ran out of the room”, she told the police.
The man posing as “Bhairav’ was found to be a friend of Gond.
“Gond’s daughter-in-law and the man posing as Bhairav are absconding”, said Manoj Ram, sub divisional police officer, who led the raiding party. Investigations into the case were in progress, he added.
The arrested ‘exorcist’ told the police he had brought the ‘human skulls’ from his Guru’s place in Uttar Pradesh. Unsure whether they were really human skulls, the police have sent them to Forensic Science Lab (FSL), Patna, for identification.
The police have lodged cases under sections for cheating, criminal conspiracy and molestation.