Fake faith healer held for raping seven girls

Mehndi Kasim Sheikh, 36, alias Baba Bengali, had raped the seven girls during different periods, allegedly with the consent of their mothers, after assuring that they would be blessed with happiness and prosperity, public prosecutor Satish Patil told the court.

Metropolitan magistrate Sanjshri Gharat accepted the prosecution plea and remanded Sheikh to police custody till Friday, observing that the offence was of a serious nature and a detailed investigation needed to be carried out in physical presence of the accused.

The J.J. Marg Police Station nabbed Sheikh Sunday after at least three of the victims - all cousins - came forward to lodge complaints.

According to the police, the girls - aged 13, 18 and 21 were raped at different times and the their mothers persuaded to perform black magic.

Two of the victims had also undergone abortions several times after they became pregnant.

"One of the victim's mother had approached Sheikh, who solved some family problems she encountered. He won her confidence and later, she brought her sister whose problems were also solved by him,” Patil informed the court.

Later, Sheikh started the homes of the women at odd hours and forced the victims to drink alleged holy water with magical powers.

After drinking the water, the girls lost consciousness and Sheikh took the opportunity to rape them, Patil added.

He had also threatened the girls with dire consequences if they told anyone about his actions and warned that he would perform black magic on them.

The crime came to light when two of the older victims could not bear Sheikh's repeated sexual assaults and finally told their fathers two days ago.

Police lodged a case against Sheikh charging him with rape and causing miscarriage of the girls.

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