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Self-styled ‘Exorcist’ Rapes Gujarat Teen on Pretext of Warding Off Evil Spirits

News18 Creative by Mir Suhail.

News18 Creative by Mir Suhail.

The accused asked the girl's parents to wait as he took her to an isolated area and raped her, police said.

Ahmedabad: A teenage girl was allegedly raped by a man claiming to be an exorcist in a village in Devbhoomi Dwarka district of Gujarat, police said on Monday.

The parents of the 14-year-old survivor had approached the accused, a self-styled exorcist, for help as their daughter had not been keeping well, said a Kalyanpur police station official in the district.

The incident took place on Sunday at Bhatvadiya village, around 400km from Ahmedabad, he said.

The accused, Bharat Sonagara, claimed to banish "evil spirits" from people, he said. "The victim, who belonged to Bhatiya village (in the same district), was unwell and her parents approached the accused to help her out.

"The accused asked the girl's parents to wait as he took the girl to an isolated area and raped her," the official said, quoting from the FIR lodged at the Kalyanpur police station.

Sonagara threatened the girl and asked her not to tell anything about the incident to her parents, the police official said.

However, the survivor narrated her ordeal to her parents after they reached home, he said.

The survivor's parents lodged a police complaint against Sonagara who was subsequently booked under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and also provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, he said.

The accused is absconding and efforts are on to nab him, the official added.

first published:March 18, 2019, 21:43 IST