Two children have died in Madhya Pradesh’s Shahdol district in the last four days after they were allegedly branded with a hot iron as part of a treatment to cure ailments, reported PTI on Sunday.
The first death was reported on Wednesday. The infant’s mother, a resident of Kathotia village in Sinhpur, had told authorities that her child was unwell so she took her to a woman faith healer who branded her more than 50 times with a hot iron.
On Sunday, Chief Medical and Health Officer RK Pandey another girl aged three months died at a private health facility last night after she was branded with a hot iron 20 times.
A case has been registered against the 40-year-old faith healer under provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Drugs and Magic Remedies Act. But the woman is yet to be arrested, said MP Ahirwar, the officer in charge of Sinhpur police station.
Shahdol Collector Vandana Vaidya said the second child who died was being treated for pneumonia by the faith healer, reported ANI. She said that awareness is being created against the tradition of getting children branded to cure ailments.
“Such malpractices have been going on in Shahdol for some time,” the district collector added. “Serious negligence of block-level officers has come to the fore.”
Officials said the services of two ASHA workers and a supervisor have been terminated.
Meanwhile, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights chief Priyank Kanoongo said he is issuing a notice and will ensure that action is taken against the guilty person, reported ANI.