Black magic practitioners believe spells on dead bodies give them powers. In Bengaluru, they find such bodies in graveyards, which the cops monitor.  There is usually a spurt in such cases during the New Year. 

Bengaluru police have increased their vigil on graveyards thanks to an increase in the number of people practising witchcraft, who dig up graves to perform pujas on bodies at night.

Taking objection to such acts, Mayor Padmavathi, recalled an incident that when a person extracted a skeleton from a grave and was openly selling it in Malleshwaram's Harishchandra Ghat. 

"The witchcraft may hurt the sentiments relatives of the person who was buried. We will ask the home department to put additional security during the new year and during ammavasya (no moon days) as people practising witchcraft believe that by doing puja on mortal remains at the graveyard will appease evil forces. This act of theirs may hurt others sentiments,"  she said.

Sources say many 'tantriks' do such pujas to ensure the new year brings special powers to them.

A top police source said that patrolling vehicles are already monitoring about 50 burial grounds in Bengaluru. They have also directed teams to detain a few people for suspicious activity.

"A few years back, a college student was raped by a few drug addicts in Shanthinagar graveyard. Since then, there is regular patrolling. And this  be intensified during New Year and Ammavasya," said a police source.

Commissioner NS Meghrik, who says so no such cases have come to his notice but that he would ensure such things do not occur anyways, added, "There will be more patrolling by police vehicles at graveyards and poor-lit areas to ensure no illegal activity takes place,"