Revenue minister Umashankar Gupta has landed in controversy after he said there is no ban on performing ‘jhad phuk’ (exorcism) at government hospitals.
His remarks came after the family of an injured man performed an exorcism at the Sagar district hospital.
When the media asked Gupta, who is also the in-charge for Sagar district, to comment on the incident, the minister said, “I am not aware of the incident but it is a matter of personal faith and we cannot keep vigil round-the-clock and there is no prohibition over ‘jhad phuk’ (sorcery), and if someone does he must take some precautions. It is not that ‘jhad-phuk’ cannot be done and it’s not prohibited.”
However, when health minister Rustam Singh was asked the same, he said, “Exorcism is completely prohibited in hospitals and strict actions would be taken against those who would be caught performing any such activity.”
The incident in question happened on Monday. Manoj Ahirwar, a resident of Vidisha district’s Badarhar village, was injured in an accident near Bina. He was sent to Bina hospital, from where he was referred to Sagar district hospital and admitted in the surgical ward.
His family arrived in the evening and decided to the take help of a tantrik Nanghai Choudary. The family claimed Ahirwar was under the influence an evil spirit that caused the accident after the incident, he was muttering something. For around half-an-hour, the tantrik performed rituals in the presence of the nurse and even pushed Manoj and made him to sit and kept a water bottle on his head while he was under glucose drip.
Civil surgeon Dr IS Thakur said that he had ordered an inquiry into the matter and Gopalgunj police was also told to take action.