JORABAT, Jan 17 - In a strange development that took place in Tamulikuchi village 13th Mile under Sonapur Police Station, three self-proclaimed female black magic practitioners who had duped people, were held captive today till the arrival of police.
According to the villagers, the three women (ojhas) were extracting money from innocent people in and around Tamulikuchi village for the last few days claiming to have extraordinary powers to free �afflicted� families from the influence of evil forces.
The modus operandi of the three women was that they would carry out some prayer-like chanting inside the victim�s house and direct the entire family to go out of the house while they performed the �black magic� to free the household from evil forces. Soon they would steal the money and whatever small-size valuables they could lay their hands on, and leave the spot hurriedly assuring the anxious family waiting outside that the household was now free from all evil forces.
Upon being interrogated the three women revealed that their group operates with 11 members, most of them from Jogijan village in Nagaon district. Two snakes locked in wooden boxes were also recovered from the possession of two of them identified as Mousumi Begum and Rejia Begum of Jogijan village.
Meanwhile, in order to avoid being handed over to the police, the group returned the money it had extracted from a few families, but failed to do so in case of a few others, whom they had duped in the last few days. Later, the group was handed over to Sonapur police.