A woman from Assam has alleged that a man “hypnotised” her and forced her to pay nearly Rs 4,000 in Delhi. The man also warned her that her mother would die within a fortnight if she did not give him the money, the police said.
Barkha Hazarika alleged that the man took her to a nearby ATM kiosk where he made her withdraw the money and then dropped her home.
In her complaint to police, Ms Hazarika, who works with the media division of an NGO, said a man, apparently Sikh, pressed her door bell and claimed he was collecting money for a religious celebration.
“I opened the door and gave him a Rs 200 note and asked him to take Rs 50 and return the balance. He kept all the money and when the owner’s maid came to clean the stairs, he came inside my room and sat there,” Ms Hazarika said.
She alleged the man said that her mother, who lives in Assam, would die in a fortnight.
“He said we will have to do a ‘paath’ (special prayer) for my mother’s safety and asked me for a piece of paper,” she said.
Shortly after, Ms Hazarika said, she went into a trance and did not realise what was happening. She said she started following his instructions.
“I generally lost all my senses and I started following his instructions. He asked me whether I have money in the house. Initially, I declined but later I gave him around Rs 900 from my wallet,” she said.
“He asked me for more money and I told him that I would give him in the evening but he said you are lying and subsequently, I ended up giving him more money,” she added.
The man then asked her to promise to god that she will give him all the money, the woman said, adding that she then took him to a nearby ATM kiosk, where she withdrew Rs 3,100 and gave it to him.
“The man dropped me near my home and I was so lost that I was going in a wrong direction but he directed me towards my house and told me to go upstairs and not turn back,” Ms Hazarika said.
“I returned to my room and then realised what had happened. I ran to my balcony and found he had disappeared. I searched for him in the locality but there was no trace of him,” she said.
She approached the police and a case was registered.
The police said they are checking the footage from CCTV cameras installed in the area and are trying to identify the accused.