Police arrested an exorcist in District Chatra, Jharkhand, for allegedly beating up a 14-year-old girl and burning her with incense sticks to “ward off evil spirits”. The girl had fallen sick after playing Holi, and the exorcist, Maulana Md Wahid, assured her family that she will get well through exorcism, they said.
Over four days, the maulana allegedly tortured the girl, following which she lost her mental balance, police said. He beat her up and scorched her face, lips and hands with burning incense sticks, they said.
Following this, the girl was taken to the Sadar Hospital in Chatra and as her condition deteriorated, she was admitted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) in Ranchi.
The 35-year-old maulana was arrested after the girl’s family lodged a complaint at the Lawalong police station, Superintendent of Police Rakesh Ranjan said.
A case was registered under relevant sections of the IPC, including 307 (attempt to murder), and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (PCSO) Act, the SP said.
Editor’s note: While reporting such incidents, India’s mainstream media often misrepresents the villain of the story, using words such as “tantrik” instead of “maulana” or “maulvi”, deliberately creating an impression that the guilty is Hindu. If not, the identity of the bad guy goes altogether missing from the headline. In the reports of the incident above, for example, no mainstream media outlet has given even a hint in the story title that the culprit is a Muslim.