Occult practitioner kills, drinks blood
Indo-Asian News Service
Raipur, October 17, 2005
Witchcraft drove a member of the Chhattisgarh home guards to kill a youth and drink his blood in a bid to cure his mental illness, police said on Monday.
Amit Soni, 28, told police that he had been practising witchcraft for some time and had killed Chhaganlal Sahu in Mahasamund district at midnight on October 12, according to district police chief Dipanshu Kabra.
"Amit, a regular worshipper of goddess Kali, killed Chhaganlal on Wednesday but was arrested after two days. He revealed during police interrogation that he committed the crime and drank Chhaganlal's blood to get over his mental illness," Kabra said.
Soni belonged to a poor family that lived in Mahasamund, 75 km from Chhattisgarh state capital Raipur.
Witchcraft is a common practice in remote areas of Chhattisgarh, mainly among tribals.
The rising crime graph against women in rural areas is often attributed to witchcraft. This prompted the state government to adopt the Witchcraft Atrocities (Prevention) Act in July 2005.
The provisions of the law are very strict and one of its clauses ensures five years of rigorous imprisonment for anyone convicted of branding women as witches and harassing them.
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