Five arrested for torturing women ‘possessed by evil spirits’

New Delhi: Three men have been arrested from Bankyarani Mata Temple premises in Bhilwara for allegedly torturing women in the garb of exorcism, police said. Three ‘Bhopas’ were arrested after it was reported in a section of local media that they were torturing women in the garb of helping the women, believed to be possessed by evil spirit. Priest singers of folk deities are called ‘Bhopas’ in Rajasthan.

“All the three ‘Bhopas’ are from outside the state. They were arrested under CrPC Section 151 (to prevent the commission of cognisable offences),” Superintendent of Police (Bhilwara) Pradeep Mohan Sharma said. “The ‘Bhopas’ are involved in superstitious practice. Women, who are ill, are brought to the temple where they are made to go through inhuman torture,” he said.

Women are forced to walk with footwears on their heads and drink water of a particular water body. “The ‘Bhopas’ are not associated with the temple. Police arrangement has been made to take action against them,” he said, adding that more people are likely to be arrested.