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Five booked, yet to be arrested, under Black Magic Act after 8-month pregnant woman and her baby die in Pune

Pune: While five accused have been identified by the Pune rural police for causing the death of an eight-month pregnant woman and her child by taking her to a godman instead of a hospital when she started experiencing pain, no arrests have been made yet as on Tuesday evening, according to the police
PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 07:25 PM IST

Pune: While five accused have been identified by the Pune rural police for causing the death of an eight-month pregnant woman and her child by taking her to a godman instead of a hospital when she started experiencing pain, no arrests have been made yet as on Tuesday evening, according to the police.

The deceased was identified as Deepali Mahesh Bidkar (23) of Shilim village of Lonavla, according to a statement issued by Andhashradha Nirmoolan Samiti (ANiS) - an organisation started by slain rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar.

A complaint was lodged by Deepali’s brother Santosh Ashok Magar.

“The pregnant woman was taken to a godman in the village by her husband and his parents. The baby and the 23-year-old mother, both died because of it,” said Milind Deshmukh, Pune head of ANiS.

“The accused include the deceased’s husband Mahesh Bidkar, and his relatives — Raghunath, Jijabai, Mohan and Bakula Bidkar,” said senior inspector Sandip Ghorpade of Lonavla rural police station.

The accused were booked under the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013.

The members of ANiS claim that the complaint lodged at the police station on February 17 went without acknowledgement for some days.

Navneet Kunwat, sub-divisional police officer of Lonavla division, said, “The death happened on February 10, and the victim’s family lodged a complaint on February 17. In their initial complaint, there was no mention of superstition, but domestic violence in which case the Supreme Court allows us time to investigate. Their next complaint was received by the station’s police inspector on February 21. On the morning of February 22, they (the deceased’s family) came to me and by the night of the same day, a case was registered. Our priority is to catch the godman and then make further arrests based on the findings of the investigation.”

Meanwhile, a case under Sections 498(a), 304(a) of Indian Penal Code along with Anti Black Magic Act was registered at Lonavla rural police station. Police sub inspector Lavate is investigating the case.

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A PMC analysis shows that most of those died are above 50 years of age.(HT Photo)
A PMC analysis shows that most of those died are above 50 years of age.(HT Photo)

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