A twenty-two-year-old woman died after delivering a baby girl in a private hospital in Ranchi. Believing that the woman could be brought back to life, now her family has invited occultists to resurrect the dead.
This bizarre incident highlights the deep-rooted beliefs in rural Jharkhand where witch-hunting and occult rituals are common.
Suman Devi died on Sunday after delivering a baby girl at a private nursing home in Ranchi, said her father Jugal Ghasi, a resident in his mid-50s, of Subhash Nagar area of Ramgarh, about 60km from the state capital - Ranchi.
After doctors declared his daughter dead, Ghasi claimed she would get a second life, and so the family has kept the woman’s body in a locked room and has invited occultists to recite special mantras to resurrect the dead. This practice has grabbed the attention of neighbours and people from far-off places are frequenting to the residence to get a glimpse of the ritual.
But, the incident was not reported to the police. On Monday evening, this HT correspondent was stopped from entering the room where the rituals were being performed.
“Such rituals have been practiced before and I have heard that dead people come to life,” said Ghasi, anxiously waiting for her daughter to wake up. “Her body is still warm. It is only because of our prayers," he said.
Bunty, the dead woman’s younger brother, said he had heard a lot about the ritual. "It was a tried and tested method," he said.
Since the state’s creation in 2000, around 1,200 people, mostly women, have lost their lives due to this superstitious practice with 220 murders between 2008 and 2013.
Across Jharkhand’s tribal belt, at least eight persons were killed, five in one village near capital Ranchi, in early August.