3 young men beat mother to death in exorcism ritual

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Old 28-Apr-2008
3 young men beat mother to death in exorcism ritual

In a grotesque incident, three educated sons of a UP Power Corporation engineer, along with a cousin, punched, kicked and beat their mother to death with a rod late on Saturday night believing that she had been possessed by the spirit of a dead relative.

The bizarre violence didn't end there. The foursome then tried to "sacrifice" a sister-in-law in an attempt to bring their dead mother back to life. They also beat up and injured their sister, her husband, the husband's father and two sisters, when they tried to intervene. All except their brother-in-law, Rohit Kumar, had to be hospitalized. The gruesome drama lasted from 9pm to 10.30pm.

The eldest of the three brothers, Rohit Gautam, 28, is an engineer in a multinational production unit at Greater Noida. Another brother, Navneet, 26, recently completed his MBA. The youngest, Ashwini, 24, is doing a course in electrical work from a polytechnic. The "exorcism" took place in a respectable, middle class locality in the city.

As news of the violence spread, several hundred residents rushed to the police station to get a glimpse of the "butchers of Vijaynagar". Some agitated residents demanded they be allowed to lynch the culprits. The area police remained as involved with crowd control as they were with the investigation.

Rohit Kumar, whose wife, Renu, is the sister of the three assailants, said: "My mother, Banso Devi, had died two months ago. Soon after that, my brothers-in-law claimed my mother's spirit had possessed their mother, Shashi. On Saturday, they told us that we should perform a havan to exorcise my mother's spirit. We agreed just to make them feel good."

After the havan, Kumar said in the police report, he went home leaving Renu behind. "But about 8.30pm, the brothers phoned me to say Renu was very ill. When I reached there, their mother was having a fit. And the three brothers and their cousin, Kuldeep, 25, were shouting, 'Banso Devi, let go of our mother'."

Kumar said the brothers were kicking and punching their mother, and beating her with a rod, in an attempt to exorcise the spirit. "Soon Shashi Devi, who was around 55, died because of the beating."

The men then turned to Kumar's sister, Ruchi. She later said: "The brothers had become ferocious. They decided that a human sacrifice was needed to bring their mother back to life. They decided I was to be sacrificed."

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