Flames, hot tongs kill woman visiting quack

April 13th, 2011 - 1:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Sikar (Rajasthan), April 13 (IANS) A 25-year-old married woman died of severe burn injuries in Rajasthan when a quack made her sit next to a fire and placed searing hot tongs on her on the pretext of curing her ailment, police said Wednesday.

The incident took place in Dhani Lambavali village of Sikar district Tuesday, about 110 km from Jaipur. Police have arrested the quack, acting on a complaint registered by the woman’s family members.

Dhola Devi, the resident of a nearby village, was taken to the quack, Sanjay Sharma, by her mother-in-law. They had brought along their seven-year-old son.

“Dhola Devi had been suffering from an illness for a long time. The in-laws thought she was under the spell of an evil spirit. Instead of getting medical help from a professional, they decided to get her treated by Sanjay,” police inspector Bheem Singh told IANS.

He said Sharma used to claim he could treat incurable diseases. Sharma told Dhola Devi’s in-laws that the woman was possessed, police said.

“Sanjay asked Dhola Devi to sit very close to the flames. She followed the instructions, but started getting burnt,” the officer said.

“When Dhola Devi tried to get away from the fire, he placed burning tongs on her body. She fell unconscious,” said the officer.

Her mother-in-law then raised an alarm, causing other villagers to rush to Sharma’s house and take the injured woman to a hospital, but she died.

Sharma fled the spot. “We traced him and he was arrested Wednesday,” said the inspector.

Many superstitious practices thrive in the remote rural areas of Rajasthan, fuelled by the lack of education and medical facilities.

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