Maharashtra Assembly passes anti-black magic Bill

NarendraFile photo of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, whot was shot dead on August 20. (PTI)

Maharashtra Assembly on Friday passed the much-awaited Bill that seeks to curb black magic and other superstitious practices, a step that comes over four months after the murder of noted rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, who fought relentlessly for such a law.

The Bill, with certain amendments, was adopted unanimously by the Lower House, where it was introduced on Wednesday by Social Justice Minister Shivajirao Moghe.

Virendra Jagtap and Ashok Pawar (both Congress) moved certain amendments. Davendra Phadanvis (BJP), Bala Nandgaonkar (MNS), Ganpatrao Deshmukh (PWP) and other members expressed their views on the proposed legislation.

The Bill will now be taken up in Legislative Council for consideration and passage.

Moghe, speaking to reporters later, welcomed the Bill's passage and expressed hope that it will have a smooth sailing in the Upper House.

Amit, son of Dabholkar, hailed the passing of the legislation and hoped the Council too will give the nod and said an anti-black magic law should be framed at the national level also.

Dabholkar, who was in the forefront of a campaign to persuade Maharashtra government to pass an anti-superstition and black magic bill, was shot dead in Pune on August 20. Two persons have been taken into custody in this connection.

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