Nepal | December 12, 2019

Shaman puts jaundice patient in jaws of death

Keshav Adhikari

Dhading, September 11

Thirty-nine-year-old Raju Magar of Jhagare in Nilakantha Municipality-9, Dhading, is now battling for his life at Dhading District Hospital.

A jaundice patient, Magar’s condition got worse after a traditional shaman cut his belly with a blade promising to cure him.

According to the victim’s wife Bimala, her husband had visited shaman Gaja Bahadur Lama of Shantabazaar in Dhadingbesi for treatment on September 1.

“The shaman had called my husband to his home, saying he would treat him with the help of tantra, but he cut my husband’s belly with a blade, supposedly to extract the malady through the hole. But ever since he did it, my husband’s condition got worse and he had to be hospitalised,” said the wife.

“Though I had also gone with my husband to the shaman’s home, I was prevented from going in. I knew what happened inside when my husband told me that the shaman cut a hole in his belly and bit the place,” she said. Her husband, who is in the emergency ward of the district hospital, can’t even speak now.

Earlier, after Raju’s condition had started getting worse, his kin had taken him to Kathmandu-based People Medical College. “The hospital, after extracting pus from the festering wound, had then told the kin to take the patient to Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital for the remaining treatment. But we brought him home on September 6,” informed the wife, adding he was admitted to the district hospital after his condition got worse on Monday. The hospital is said to have advised the kin to take Raju to Kathmandu for safe treatment.

Local rights activist Radhika Sapkota said Lama had a track record of involvement in many other controversial ‘treatments’ in the past. “His brutal acts of branding women with hot spoons in the name of purging them of witchcraft, terminating pregnancies and the likes have already been known. Most of the victims are keeping mum for fear of the so-called shaman,” she said.

Meanwhile, Raju’s kin filed an FIR with the DPO against Lama a few days ago. “As he (Lama) has fled after getting wind of the FIR, we’re searching for him. If found guilty, he will have to face action as per the law,” said SP Raj Kumar Baidawar of the DPO.


A version of this article appears in print on September 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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