Witch doctor held for singing child

Phidim, January 21

Police in Panchthar today arrested Suka Bahadur Rai, a local witch doctor, who had singed a child with hot iron while performing a rite of exorcism in Oyam weeks ago.

He was arrested today, a day after the cruel and grossly superstitious act splashed all over the newspapers.


Though Dhana Bahadur Rai’s 14-month-old son Dipsan of Oyam-1 had been suffering from diarrhoea, the so-called witch doctor had wrongly diagnosed him of being under a spell and during a rite of exorcism on the evening of January 8, singed the minor’s buttocks with hot iron and stone to dispel the evil spirit.

According to inspector Bijaya Shresha, a team from the police post of Chari Bhanjyang arrested him today morning.

“He has been kept in detention for investigation while the child has been brought to the district hospital for treatment,” said the inspector, adding that preparations were on to file a case against the shaman as per the law of the land.

Dr Manoj Nepal of District Hospital said that the festered burn will take some time to heal.

“After our son showed no sign of improvement as diarrhoea had gripped him for two days, we’d called them (shamans Suk Bahadur and his friend) to treat him in their way,” said the victim’s father Dhana Bahadur, adding, “It

was evening when they came, studied the boy and declared that he was under the spell of some evil spirit.

Then they made us heat up some iron and a fist-sized stone and made the boy sit on them.

The boy cried out loud but the witch doctor didn’t let us interfere.”

We did go to him (Suk Bahadur) to further treat the boy as he got more serious instead of getting better from that day but he didn’t listen to us said Dhana Bahadur.