Postcard from... New Delhi


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The Independent Online

Over the past year, a series of unusual events has occurred at a courthouse in east New Delhi. Books have disappeared, strange noises have been heard. Computers and lights have seemed to switch themselves on.

Employees at the Karkardooma district court wondered if it was haunted; eventually the bar association called a meeting, mulled over the evidence and decided to install closed-circuit television cameras. The footage (pictured) can be seen on YouTube.

The bar association joined a long list of other authorities who have taken seriously complaints of paranormal activity in India, a country that lives, it is said, in several centuries at once.

Last year a police station in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh was closed and shuttered after a “resident spirit” terrorised the duty constable, according to a report in The Times of India. Elsewhere, a primary school was shut temporarily when a boy said he saw an egg-shaped ghost emanating from a chalkboard.

Police regularly investigate alleged supernatural events. “We entertain all complaints, be it against zombies or werewolves,” an officer told the Times earlier this year.

New Delhi, the country’s sprawling capital and home to 16 million people, is known as the “City of Djinns”, after genies still said to inhabit its shrines and graveyards. News website Scroll drolly suggested the courthouse case will thus “will bring relief to people who feared Delhi’s age-old djinns and spirits are being driven away by gentrification”.

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