Barmer controversy: Alleged 'witch doctor' suspended for occult rituals.
Barmer controversy: Alleged 'witch doctor' suspended for occult rituals.

A government doctor in Barmer allegedly slapped a ‘possessed’ woman to revive her from the unconscious state. The woman, a resident of Sondi village, was brought to Barmer district hospital on Wednesday after she fainted while cooking. The family claimed that someone allegedly held her from the back and trimmed her hair—incidents that hint at black magic and evil possession. Dr. Surendra Bahri, the doctor-in-charge attempted to exorcise the possessed women by lighting incense sticks near her bed. Rather than following the medical procedure to revive the patient, he slapped her and pulled her by the hair. He was caught red-handed on the cam—the video of the incident went viral on social networks.

Barmer controversy: Alleged 'witch doctor' suspended for occult rituals.
Barmer controversy: Alleged ‘witch doctor’ suspended for occult rituals.

The incident is a threat to the attempts made by Rajasthan government in education and health sectors. In last few years, Raje government put in relentless efforts to end superstition prevailing in Rajasthan, especially in the remote rural region. It reflects the pathetic mentality of our society and the irresponsible attitude of so-called ‘responsible’ doctors. In a bid to prevent the ‘superstition’ from spreading all over the state, Raje government issued an investigation into this matter this Thursday.

A committee comprising of 3 doctors, led by Dr. Mansuria probed Dr. Surendra Bahri and others involved in this case. A similar incident happened with another woman in Jodhpur a few days back. Rumors circulating in Bikaner and the surrounding regions suggested the presence of a supernatural being. The alleged ‘evil spirit’ snipped women’s hair and left marks on their bodies. However, the patient admitting to cutting her hair herself, before she fainted.

The incident made the doctors believe that the patients may be suffering from depression or hysteria. The Superintendent of Barmer Police, Mr. Gagandeep Singla specifically requested the people to disregard such rumors. Despite this, the families prefer ‘exorcism’ over standard ‘medical procedure’—a bitter reality of life. Being a doctor, Bahri is expected to fulfill his duties with utmost sincerity. He clearly failed at ensuring the safety and wellbeing of his patients. Irresponsible doctors like him are a threat to a patient’s life.

Suspending Dr. Bahri was a legit move on the part of the government, necessary to end superstition, black magic, and exorcism in Rajasthan. It’s not just the duty of the government to take strict action against the offenders. Being responsible citizens of the society, we’re expected to put an end to irrational thinking prevalent in the society.