Shirgur: A 14-year-old ailing boy from Maharashtra’s Sangli district died allegedly after he was severely beaten up by a witch doctor, who claimed that the teenager was possessed, an official said on Tuesday.
Aryan Deepak Landge, who lived in Kavathe Mahankal of the district, died of injuries on May 20 but the incident came to light after anti-superstition activists approached the police, he said.
As per the complaint by activists from Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti, an organisation that works towards eradicating superstitions and blind faith, Landge had a fever for many days and there was no relief despite treatment.
His family took him to a ‘mantrik’ (witch doctor), Appasaheb Kamble, at Shirgur in neighbouring Karnataka, the official said.
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Kamble claimed that the boy was possessed by a ‘demon’ and he would need to ‘drive it away’ by beating up Landge.
However, the boy sustained serious injuries due to the beating, prompting his family to rush him to a hospital in Miraj in Sangli district, about 40 km from Shirgur.
He died during treatment, the official said.
After learning about Landge’s death, activists from Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti met his family members and then assistant police inspector Jitendra Shahane at Kavathe Mahankal police station to lodge a complaint.
As there is no anti-superstition legislation in Karnataka, the official said, police registered a Zero FIR under Indian Penal Code section 304 (causing death by negligence) against the witch doctor.
A Zero FIR (first information report) allows any police to accept a complaint and forward it to the appropriate station for action.
The case will now be probed by the Karnataka police, he added.