A woman from Assam has alleged that a Sikh man ‘hypnotised’ her and made her pay nearly Rs 4,000 after warning that her mother would die within a fortnight if she did not give him the money in a south Delhi neighbourhood on Saturday, 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, Hazarika, who works with the media division of an NGO, said she was awakened when a Sikh man pressed the doorbell of her home when she was sleeping.
When she looked out of the window, a Sikh man told her he was collecting money for Gurupurab celebration to be held at a gurudwara nearby, the woman said in the complaint.
“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,” Hazarika said.
She said she got scared when he told her 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, 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,” 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.
The woman said when she contacted the nearby gurdwara, she learnt they had received similar complaints previously.
Subsequently, she approached police and a case was registered at the Amar Colony police station in southeast Delhi.
Police said they are checking the footage from CCTV cameras installed in the area and trying to identify the accused.