'Cleansing Ritual' to Stop Girl From 'Becoming a Snake'

Sulekha Kamrui,a class 8 student of Brahmaganj High School in West Midnapore was born with a curse that upon turning 15, she would become a snake. Her father Manik, an illiterate farmer and mother Archana took this curse rather seriously. According to media reports, on Tuesday, Nov 27, the day she turned 15, Sulekha almost lost her life in a 'cleansing' ritual.

In order to fight away the 'curse' the local priests had suggested a huge yagna on Sulekha's 15th birthday. Too afraid to lose their daughter, Sulekha's parents left no stone unturned to organise the yagna. As news spread to surrounding villages, people turned up in hundreds to witness the miracle. The parents, along with neighbours and hundreds of curious visitors, bathed the teenager with hundreds of litres of Ganga water, coconut water and milk for hours.

Even when the girl lost consciousness, people jostled to see what was to happen next since rumour had spread that she would turn into a snake any minute. That never happened but the prolonged bath and the hundreds of litres of milk and coconut water almost choked her to death.

When the news reached Chandrakona OC Ashish Jain, he rushed to the spot along with SDO Anshuman Adhikari. They tried to reason with Sulekha's parents and the villagers to stop the bath and let her go but no one listened. Ultimately Jain forcibly took her from the parents and admitted her to Gurap hospital.

The officers also arrest 4 people including the girl's parents. "She might have been killed had we not intervened. We have arrested four persons, including her parents, and they have been sent to court," said Jain. SDO Adhikari said they tried to reason with villagers but they refused to listen. "This is nothing but superstition. The girl was being tormented and physically abused," said Adhikari.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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