| Babli at the sadar hospital in Purnea on Tuesday. Picture by Mohan Mahato |
Purnea, July 3: A teenaged girl was drugged and one of her legs chopped off to please a deity with her blood, the macabre act by women claiming to know black magic again serving as a chilling reminder of the extreme backwardness of Bihar’s hinterlands in spite of the government’s claims of development at the grassroots.
Two women amputated 15-year-old Babli Kumari’s leg with a chopper and then tried to bury her at Bardela village, about 45km southwest of Purnea, last night on the belief that worshipping the deity with blood of a virgin girl brings good fortune, superintendent of police (SP) Amit Lodha said today.
The girl, who is battling for life at the sadar hospital, had gone to meet the sorcerers for help to treat her ailing brother.
She was offered a ladoo laced with drugs to eat by the sorcerers, who chopped off her leg after she fell unconscious.
The women, 25-year-old girl Lovely Kumari and her sibling, 16-year-old Baby Kumari, have been arrested, the SP said.
The two claim to be the incarnation of goddess Durga and Lord Vishnu and cast magic spells over people on the pretext of curing their illnesses.
Their mother Maini Devi and brother Gulu Mahato have also been arrested.
“We have arrested two sorceresses for hacking the leg of Babli. They used to cast black magic over the people and treat them on each Tuesday. For this, people would register at their home every Monday while they cast their magic spell over them the next day on the pretext of curing them,” said Lodha.
“How can women cut off the leg of a girl and try to bury her on the pretext of treatment? The arrested persons have been produced in court and sent to judicial remand for 14 days to Purnea Central Jail,” he added.
Police sources said the entire village was scared of the two sisters as they claimed to possess divine powers. “We had to strive hard to arrest them as they had sharp-edged weapons which they were brandishing in a frenzied manner. They claimed that the god and goddess would descend on Earth at 11pm,” said a police official who was part of the team that arrested the duo.
Village sources said Babli was the sole bread-earner of her family after her mother became mentally ill following her father’s death and left the village around two years ago. Her elder brother, Sukra Mahato, is mentally ill for which Babli had gone to the sorcerer sisters for help. Babli toils throughout the year on her two acres of land to sustain herself and her younger sister Sarita and kid brother Vivek.