Hot iron rods pressed on 16-month-old to cure fever (Lead)

February 16th, 2009 - 3:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Feb 16 (IANS) Hot iron rods were pressed on a 16-month-old child in a Chhattisgarh village, leaving burn marks all over his body, because villagers wanted to exorcise the spirits they thought was responsible for his fever and vomiting!

The small boy was given the hot iron rod “treatment” about 100 times by villagers with the consent of his parents in Surjula village in Jashpur district, some 450 km from here, health officials said Monday.

The villagers who treated 16-month-old Deepak told the family that the baby was possessed by a ghost and the only cure was to press hot iron rods on his body.

The shocking incident took place Saturday and little Deepak has now been admitted to a hospital in the district headquarters of Jashpur Nagar. Doctors there found over 100 burn marks all over his body, said P.K. Singh, block medical officer posted in Jashpur.

“A few villagers brutally subjected the child to hot iron rods to treat his vomiting and fever by freeing him from a ghost. It is inhuman. We have enough health workers in the rural areas but the illiterate villagers still believe in superstitions,” Singh told IANS on phone.

Police said action would be taken against the child’s family and those involved in the brutal act.

“We are investigating the matter. We will take legal action against the family and those found involved in subjecting the baby to such treatment,” said District Superintendent of Police Akbar Ram Korram.

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