Man raped woman after claiming he was performing exorcism ‘to cure her’

A man in India who raped a woman after he claimed to be performing an exorcism on her has been sentenced to life.

Rahul Prajapati, an occultist, raped a woman after her family members had let him into their home to perform an exorcism on her.

It is understood the woman, who was unwell at the time, was taken from her home by Prajapati to a roadside diner on June 7, 2018.

At around 8pm, Prajapati raped the woman, from Dalit, under the "pretext of curing her through exorcism".

The man was arrested and thrown in jail in the Uttar Pradesh region and was found guilty of the crime on Tuesday, November 10 2020.

Government Counsel, Lakhan Lal, said: "On Tuesday, Additional District and Session (SC-ST) Judge Jagdish Kumar sentenced Rahul Prajapati (an occultist) to life imprisonment for raping a Dalit woman on the pretext of performing an exorcism."

Mr Lal also said the court imposed a fine of 10,000 Indian rupees, which is the equivalent to £101.24.

He said: "The court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him. The Dalit woman was raped at 8:00 pm on June 7, 2018."

Confirming the circumstances of the rape Mr Lal said: "When the woman was unwell, Prajapati under the pretext of curing her through exorcism, took her to a roadside eatery and raped her."

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Adding: "He was found guilty after the incident, and was lodged in the jail."

An exorcism is a religious or spiritual practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person that is believed to be possessed.

In some countries, India included, exorcisms are often performed on people who have mental or sometimes physical health problems.

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