Woman arrested for branding infant with hot iron

Rourkela: A woman was arrested on Friday for allegedly branding a one-month-old boy of Deogaon under Raghunathpalli police limits in Rourkela with hot iron causing his death.

Earlier in the day, the baby boy, who was admitted to the government hospital here after his condition deteriorated following hot iron rod branding by the lady quack, identified as Shanti Das, died while undergoing treatment.

The infant was branded with a hot iron rod for 10 times by the lady quack with the consent of his parents to treat a black nerve appearing on one of his arms.

The baby’s parents had buried the body hindering the probe into the matter.

Ramesh Chandra Dora, IIC, Raghunathpalli said, “Though no complaint was lodged regarding the infant death with us, we filed a case suo motu when we came to know about the incident.”

Chiana Bala, infant’s father stated, “Elder people suggested me to give branding with hot iron to cure the disease of my child.”

Defending her act of branding the baby with hot iron, the lady quack, said, “For 30-40 years this iron branding practice has been undertaken. Who knows this baby might have died because of some other reasons?”

Meanwhile, a government official said the State has formed committees at the grass root level to make people aware about such superstitions and appeal them to stop such practices.

Rabindra Pratap Singh, director, Women and Child Welfare department, said, “We have set up the child protection unit in every district who are making people aware about the rights of children. The child protection committee at panchayat and block levels are formed to sensitize people so that these kind of practices can be stopped.”