Tantrik manufacturers Four-month-old with scorching iron in Bhilwara

AJMER: A four-month-old baby, Nandini, was branded with hot iron on the stomach on Monday morning. The baby girl is said to be critical and is undergoing treatment at Bhilwara’s . According to police, Udailal, a tribal labourer from village under police station, took his only child to a ‘tantrik’ as she was suffering from severe cough and cold.
He told the police that he took her to the ‘tantrik’ at a local temple on the advice of a neighbour.

The tantrik told the parents that the child was suffering from pneumonia. According to police, the ‘tantrik’ branded the baby, claiming that it would cure her and she would never suffer from cough and cold in the future.

The condition of the child deteriorated after she came back home. Udailal took her to a nearby primary health centre and was referred to the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital in .

“She is certainly suffering from pneumonia. We suspect her to be suffering from aheart condition too,” said O P Agala, paediatrician at the hospital. He said that her condition was critical and she might be referred to for further treatment.

‘Last year, over 13 cases were reported’

Police have registered the statement of the father and are looking into the matter.

Branding children with hot iron is common in Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand districts and parts of Ajmer. “Last year, over 13 cases were reported,” said a doctor of Bhilwara hospital.

Sources said that, during the winter, the children catch cold and show symptoms of pneumonia, but most parents, particularly in tribal and rural areas, take their children to ‘tantriks’ rather than doctors for treatment. Last year, a massive drive was organised by the district administration along with the medical and health department against superstitions impacting society.

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