Gujarat: Woman tortured, killed for being ‘possessed’; 3 priests among 5 arrested

Five men were arrested Thursday for allegedly murdering a 25-year-old woman after torturing and branding her claiming that she was possessed by a spirit during Navaratri celebrations at a shrine in Okhamadhi village in Dwarka district on Wednesday.

The five, including three community priests and the brother-in-law of the woman, have been booked for murder with police saying the men assaulted the victim and branded her to exorcise the “evil spirit”.

According to an FIR registered at Dwarka police station, Ramila

Solanki (25), wife of casual labourer Vala Solanki, started trembling and shouting at a temple of goddess meldi in Okhamadhi village at around 4.30 am Wednesday.

“Saying she was possessed by some goddess, the accused family members started beating her up by grabbing her hair in an attempt to exorcise the spirit, leading to her death,” Sunil Joshi, superintendent of police, Devbhumi Dwarka said.

The FIR quotes Ramila’s husband saying that as she continued trembling, Ramesh Solanki, one of the three priests declared that she was possessed.

“Around 6 am, the bhuvas (priests) declared that she will have to be lashed by a hot chain… They also branded her with burning firewood,” said inspector Pravin Gadhvi, in charge of Dwarka police station.

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