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Concern over devil worship

Tura, May 15: Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma today held consultations with church leaders here at his residence on devil worship.

However, the details of the discussions were not made available to the media. The cult practice seems to have expanded to different parts of the state.

West Garo Hills deputy commissioner Pravin Bakshi, who banned the practice under Section 144 CrPC, said, It has been prohibited on various grounds as it may lead to social unrest, as they are involved in desecration and vandalism of sacred symbols, including trespass and public nudity. If the perpetrators are caught with drugs, they can be booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

If they defy prohibitory orders passed by the district magistrate, they shall be booked under Section 188 IPC.

Five youths were arrested on Saturday for defying the ban. They were granted bail on Sunday. After a failed attempt of human sacrifice of a minor girl in Williamnagar last Friday, the deputy commissioner of East Garo Hills, Vijay Mantri, also banned devil worship. He appealed to parents and school authorities to take care of their children.

Social welfare minister Deborah Marak and home minister Roshan Warjri have expressed concern on devil worship.

In Williamnagar, a mob attempted to attack two teenaged girls at 11.30am yesterday on the pretext that they were allegedly into devil worship. Mantri said, A police team was sent and the DSP asked the school authorities to close the school for the day. The police team explained the case and the people dispersed. Misinformation and fear has led to the current problem.