VILLUPURAM: A 35-year-old man from Kancheepuram on Monday was arrested on the charges of allegedly abusing women devotees under the pretext of practising black magic. The police said the priest had allegedly been married thrice and held several women under his custody.
According to the police, Selvamani (alias) Perumalmani had been sexually abusing a 19-year-old girl at his house in Ongur village in Tindivanam for more than six months. The girl belonged to the family that had sought black magic rituals from Selvamani, who convinced the parents to leave the young girl out of their house until the procedure was over, the police said.
After the parents had come to know about the sexual abuse, the girl’s father rescued her from the priest and on Monday, lodged a complaint with the Tindivanam all women police, who arrested Selvamani. He was booked under the charge of rape and has been sent to the Cuddalore Central Prison, the police added.
Locals said Selvamani was famous in and around the village for his black magic practices, but little did the people know about him using the rituals to abuse women.
Village sources said, “The man was quite reserved with the neighbours and never spoke much to anyone. The girl was staying here for the last few months and the man even dropped her off at her college. But recently, there was some quarrel between the man and the girl’s family.
”The owner of Selvamani’s rented house told Express, “I was suspicious of the man’s activity and so, asked him to vacate the house, two months ago. After the parents of the girl came here and made a huge fuss, I informed the police who then investigated into the matter.”
“Villagers allege that Selvamani had been targeting women from helpless families and blackmailed them saying that they must have sexual relations with him to make the rituals work,” the police said. The accused had been married and has two children. His wife and children left him a few years ago. However, the police said there were no evidence for his affair with other women.