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.