Melbourne: Indian community leaders in New Zealand have called for an investigation into how the 'witch doctors' have been able to work in the country, while condemning local Indian media for allowing such practices to be advertised.
Around 20 representatives of Indian community gathered on Saturday for a meeting in Auckland to tackle the issue of witch doctors and appealed to the Hindu community to avoid using the services of such priests, 'witch doctors', and astrologers.
"This is one of our biggest concerns," Indian community leader Pratima Nand, who chaired the meeting, was quoted as saying by New Zealand Herald.
"Those who are sponsoring these people should be made accountable for any unwarranted activities committed by these people who have been sponsored into the country," she added.
"Something has to be done to bring a stop to these people. Immigration has a lot to answer for. How are these people getting into the country?" Chandu Singh, former president of the Auckland Indian Association, said.
The meeting comes in the backdrop of New Zealand's immigration officials swirling into action following reports of numerous 'witch doctors' operating and advertising freely in the country.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) had identified nine witch doctors, five of whom have already left the country, while the other four are liable for deportation for breaching of their visa conditions.
The community leaders also resolved to write to New Zealand Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse to start an investigation into how the "witch doctors" were passing immigration checks.
They also appealed to local community media to develop a 'code of ethics' and not to advertise 'astrologers' and 'witch doctors'.
"The local Indian media have failed to safe-guard the community. They are not meant to publish anything that is false," another member Thakur Ranjit Singh said.
Singh added a Facebook page, which will be set up by the community leaders to gather information on witch doctors from around New Zealand, would be called 'Sadu Busters'.
The issue came to light after a businessman filed a police complaint after paying 275,000 New Zealand dollars to a witch doctor who left the country hours after receiving the cash, prompting immigration authorities to launch a crackdown.
An undercover operation conducted by 3 News channels found there has been an alarming increase in black magic practitioners from India in New Zealand.