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Black magic practice sparks shock, outrage
Correspondent
 KALAIGAON, July 7 - One Pulakesh Saharia, who along with his father Jadab Saharia, were injured in police firing at Kulsipar village near Kalaigaon town on Saturday, succumbed to his injuries today at the GMCH, where both had been referred to for treatment.

It may be mentioned that an unruly situation had developed at the residence of the Saharias at the village, where seven members of the family were found totally immersed in performing black magic (tantrism) on July 6. The police opened fire in which the father-son duo was injured. The father Jadab Saharia, (57), a science teacher of Lalbahadur Shastri Memorial HS, Daipam and his son Pulakesh Saharia (23), who had passed MCA from Bengaluru but was unemployed sustained bullet injuries and were rushed to the GMCH for treatment. Pulakesh succumbed to his injuries at the GMCH this morning. Pulakesh was shot at his legs but the bullets hit him in the waist, while Jadab was hit on the legs. The incident of the practising of tantrik acts, especially, by the so-called educated people, has sparked shock and outrage all over the State.

Police arrested all the seven members of the family (three women and four men) for practising black magic and setting their own property afire. It is learnt that the members of the family had been performing superstitious activities under the influence of a tantrik who had been visiting their home since the last two years. According to the villagers, the tantrik had prescribed some acts to be performed for the welfare of the family. Some other villagers suspected that the family members were about to sacrifice a three-year-old boy in the process. Fortunately, the boy was rescued successfully by Madhurjya Sarma, secretary of AASU Kalaigaon anchalik committee before the arrival of the police. Many people, however, ruled out any element of human sacrifice in the incident and insisted that the family believed in superstitions.

According to Biraj Kumar Barua, Magistrate-cum-Revenue Circle Officer, Kalaigaon, who was present on the spot, neighbours of the family noticed smoke emanating from the house of Jadab Saharia, a graduate science teacher of a high school at Kulsipar village near Kalaigaon town at around 11 am on Saturday. People there rushed to extinguish the fire. But to their horror, they saw seven people including three women dancing naked in front of an idol in a semi-conscious state in the adjacent family prayer hut. The persons were Jadab Saharia (57), his wife Punya Kanti Saharia (50), their only son Pulakesh Saharia (23) and other family relatives Citra Kalita, a widow and her 15-year-old son, Dalimi Deka, sister of Punya Kanti Saharia and her husband Rukma Deka. The male members of the family suddenly turned violent and attacked the approaching people with daos and axes.They set fire to their own house and properties including a Royal Enfield motorcycle. The father and son duo also tried to damage their own WagonR car parked nearby. Finally, the police resorted to firing at the family to control the situation.

According to another villager living nearby, Punya Kanti Saharia had been suffering from depression and mental agony since a long time back.Their only daughter, who was studying BSc at Mangaldai College had committed suicide at a rented house at Mangaldai four years back. He further said that one Ramesh Saharia, a so- called tantrik of Barampur village in Darrang district was a regular visitor to their house, specially after the death of the daughter. Taking advantage of the mental state of the family members, the tantrik had reportedly earned a good fortune. He had also visited their house two days prior to the incident. It is believed that the family members were performing all these superstitious activities as advised by the tantrik. Ramesh Saharia was arrested today.

The incident has created grief and horror not only at Kalaigaon but also all over the State.

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