Pregnant woman branded with hot iron rod in Malkangiri

Malkangiri: In another case of inhuman torture based on superstition, a pregnant woman of Chandaghati area under Khairput block in the district was allegedly branded with hot iron when she felt pain in her abdomen.

On the advice by neighbours, the husband of the woman took her to a local quack after she complained of abdominal pain. The quack branded her with an iron rod to cure her.

“When she complained of pain in her abdomen, I took her to a quack. He branded her with hot iron rod and said she will be cured in two-three days,” the victim’s husband said.

“But when her condition started deteriorating after the iron branding, I took her to Khairput health centre. Later, she was shifted to the district headquarters hospital when her condition worsened,” the he added.

Dr Sapand Dinda, a doctor at the government-run hospital who is attending on her, said, “Nearly one month ago, a pregnant lady belonging to Bonda tribal community was admitted to the hospital as she was suffering from abdominal pain. She was discharged from the hospital after successful treatment.”

“But later, she again felt pain in her stomach following which her husband took her to a local quack for branding,” Dinda added.

In a recent incident, a 27-day old boy was branded with hot iron rod in Butipadar village under Sadar Block of Nabarangpur district on December 24.

As the baby was suffering from respiratory problems and had a swollen abdomen, her family members called up a quack for treatment of the infant. On his suggestion, they branded the infant with hot iron nails on his stomach.

Sources said such incidents are common in south Odisha. In May this year, a female tribal quack, who had instigated a couple to inflict serious burn injuries on their six-month-old child, was arrested in Nabarangpur district. A tribal couple from Papadahandi block had approached the quack for treatment of their child.