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Some half a dozen women were brought to the Magh Mela in two cars, given a dip in the river and then whipped by iron chains to free them from the clutches of evil spirits which had supposedly over-powered them! This happened on Wednesday 22 January 2014.

And none  in the Mela administrative machinery noticed this barbaric and  inhuman  act  which might have gone unnoticed had not our former photographer Shiraz Rizvi clicked his camera to imprison the scene for contemporary dailies. One of the tormentors was heard saying: ‘Hum in aurton ka bhoot bhaga rahe hain’. Fantastic! Whether any evil spirit had overpowered those women or not is a debatable issue because medical science does not  accept such  explanations even though the Tantriks assert in their favour. But one thing was clear that these brutal men had turned into devils incarnate .
The scene described by an eyewitness is too horrible for words. The ‘Ojha’ (sorcerer)along with young men arrived on the scene.  In no time a young man pulled a woman by the hair and dragged her to the river. Thereafter he hurled her in the waters. She cried in pain. He pulled her out by the hair and started whipping her with an iron chain. After a while the sorcerer  again plunged her into the water. As soon as her head would come above the water the chain-lashing would be resumed.  When a bystander protested and asked them what and why they were   doing all this, the sorcerer said they were freeing the woman from the ghostly shackles. Six women were lashed with iron chains that way and the ritual was completed in ten minutes  in full view of the  horrified people. According to one report some policemen were there on the scene but they did nothing to prevent the men from indulging in ghastly violence.  One of them is stated to have remarked: ‘Educated people are bathing here. Why aren’t they protesting’?  And what were the cops there for? To watch a horror show without paying any entertainment tax!

If these cops saw the whole scene, why didn’t they report the matter to the Mela police? Magh Mela Circle Officer  Niti Dwivedi says that she is not aware of any such incident.  SSP Umesh Srivastava too says: ‘I have not received any information. It is totally illegal if it has happened.’ Assuring that they will take action ‘in case we get any identification or clues against the perpetrators of the crime’, Ms Niti Dwivedi also says: ‘I will also ask security personnel deployed in the area as to why the perpetrators of the crime  were not stopped and nabbed’. They can do so now as the sorcerer declared that he was a Baba of Banda.
And, by the way, where were the CCTV cameras? Has none been installed to cover the bathing scenes ? Or have these CCTV cameras also gone out of order? But if they were working then their photographs should be scanned to see who all among the cops were present there so that they might be pulled up.
Incidentally, women are always alleged to be under the   influence of evil spirits. No man has been beaten up and thrashed like this. Why? Do ghosts spare men and attack women only? Or are stories about ghosts overpowering females the creation of the male mind which gets sadistic delight and  perverted pleasure to whip the women and see them writhing in pain so as to establish male chauvinism at its filthiest  peak?

DM shocked

Allahabad District Magistrate Rajshekhar has been taken aback  on learning about this  brutal act. He says: ‘I am shocked that such an incident has taken place’. He asks: ‘Wasn’t there any security around?’ There was but they were watching the scene as if they were witnessing a horror show and were expecting the educated class among swimmers to intervene!
Rajshekhar says, ‘Beating up a woman is a crime’. He has assured that he will ask the police to keep an eye on such incidents. The DM said, ‘Where did the women come from and how could they reach that place? I will get an enquiry done’. That is essential and urgent. If a sorcerer and his men could commit the outrage and get away with it, without the police knowing it then doesn’t that show laxity in security arrangements?

The incident is bound to give the jitters to the intelligence department. If sorcerer and his gang could come and go after fulfilling their objective, how can we be sure that terrorists will not do the same without any let or hindrance?

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Magh Mela 2014

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