The body of a two-and-a-half-month-old girl has been exhumed in Madhya Pradesh’s Shahdol district following her death after allegedly being branded with a hot iron rod more than 50 times by an exorcist, an official said on Saturday. District Collector Vandana Vaidya said the baby’s body was exhumed on Friday and a post-mortem will be conducted on Saturday.
Initial investigation has shown that she died due to pneumonia but the real reasons behind the death could be known after the post-mortem report, she said.
The child’s mother, a resident of Kathotia under Sinhpur police station limits in the tribal-dominated district, said her family first took her ailing daughter to a quack but her condition didn’t improve.
The family then approached a woman faith healer who poked the child’s body with a hot iron rod 51 times in a bid to treat her, the mother said. However, the baby’s condition deteriorated and she was taken to the district hospital, which referred her to Shahdol Medical College. The baby died during treatment on Wednesday, she said.
The family members then buried the child’s body. After learning about the incident from local media, the government decided to exhume the body.