Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The body of a two-and-a-half-month-old girl was exhumed in Shahdol district on Friday following her death after allegedly being branded with a hot iron rod more than 50 times by an exorcist, an official said on Saturday.
District Collector Vandana Vaidya said the baby's body was exhumed on Friday and a post-mortem was conducted on Saturday. Initial investigation has shown that she died due to pneumonia but the real reasons behind the death could be known after the post-mortem report, she said.
The child's mother, a resident of Kathotia under Sinhpur police station limits in the tribal-dominated district, said her family first took her ailing daughter to a quack but her condition didn't improve. The family then approached a woman faith healer who poked the child's body with a hot iron rod 51 times in a bid to treat her, the mother said.
However, the baby's condition deteriorated and she was taken to the district hospital, which referred her to Shahdol Medical College. The baby died during treatment on Wednesday, she said.
The family members then buried the child's body. After learning about the incident from local media, the government decided to exhume the body. Meanwhile, another case where a 3-month-old girl was branded with a hot iron and is under treatment also came to the fore in Shahdol on Saturday, an official said.
The infant, identified as Shubhi Kol, daughter of one Suraj Kol, was brought to the government-run Birsa Munda Medical College on Wednesday after she was branded with a hot iron rod, the institution's superintendent Dr Nagendra Singh said. The child is a resident of Samatpur Village under Sinhpur police station limits and her parents shifted her to a private facility on Friday.
Meanwhile, Chief Medical and Health Officer RS Pandey said he would collect information about Shubhi Kol as well as other branding incidents by visiting Sinhpur area.
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