Mumbai Local

Miracle healer booked under Black Magic Act

The Vasai police on Saturday registered a case under the Black Magic Act against a self-styled miracle healer, who claimed to cure all illnesses using objects infused with divine powers. The police, however, are unable to arrest the accused at the moment as the man, who claimed to cure any ailment, is admitted to a hospital with a spinal problem.

According to the police, the accused, identified as Sebastian Martin, runs the ‘Ashirwad Prayer Centre’ in Vasai. Several videos on YouTube show Martin ‘healing’ patients suffering from various ailments through prayer. According to the prayer centre’s website, it distributes ‘anointed’ articles like scarves, handkerchiefs and oil, which are supposed to provide ‘healing and deliverance’.

In April last year, the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti had approached the Palghar police with an application seeking action against Martin under the Black Magic Act. “When there was no action, we filed a fresh application in June last year. The Vasai police was asked to look into the matter. We kept following up and were told that inquiries were underway,” said Nandkishore Talashikar, a member of the Samiti.

Finally on Saturday, a Vasai resident, Nilesh Patil, approached the police alleging he had been given anointed articles by the prayer centre, which did not cure his health problems. An FIR was filed on Saturday night under the Indian Penal Code and the Black Magic Act. “The manager of the centre has been arrested on Sunday. We are also making inquires with Martin himself. However, he claims to be suffering from a spinal problem and is currently in the hospital. We will arrest him as soon as he is discharged,” said Superintendent of Police Sharda Raut, Palghar police.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 10:27:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/miracle-healer-booked-under-black-magic-act/article8177848.ece

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