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Sharmili Mallick

Nayagarh: Science and prudence took a back seat at Singarpur village under Sarankul Police limits in Nayagarh district where villagers resorted to superstition to revive a dead man even after his post-mortem was conducted.

Incidentally, the village is just around 95 kilometres away from Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha.

The deceased, identified as Rabi Nahak of Singarpur village had taken part in traditional Danda Nacha (also known as dance of penance) two days ago and as per rituals, he had not eaten anything since then.

The rituals of Danda Nacha involves painful rituals while paying obeisance to Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva for 21 days. Generally, the rituals begin 21 or 13 days before Maha Bisuva Sankranti or Pana Sankranti. The ‘Danduas’, as the performers of the ritual are called, also offer prayers on behalf of the people who want their wishes to be fulfilled.

On Sunday, Rabi fell ill while performing a penance ritual following which he was rushed to the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH). However, the doctors declared him brought dead. Rabi’s body was later handed over to his family members following an autopsy on the same day. The doctors said that Rabi had died due to dehydration and sun stroke.

When the bereaved family of Rabi was preparing for the cremation, the villagers convinced them that they should conduct a puja to resurrect the deceased.

Subsequently, they allegedly took the body and performed rituals for several hours yesterday. The villagers gave the body a bath with dozens of pitchers of water and conducted kirtans and chanted mantras in an attempt to bring him back to life. However, all the attempts to resurrect Rabi went in vain.

Later, the Sarankul Police intervened after receiving the information and convinced the villagers of the reality. The mortal remains of Rabi was finally consigned to flames.

IIC of Sarankul Police Station Bimal Mallick said, “The villagers believed that since he was a Dandua he might come back to life. Even after performing rituals for several hours when the miracle did not happen the last rites were finally conducted in the middle of the night.”

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