the girl’s mother believed that her daughter had been possessed
A nine-year-old Sri Lankan girl has died after being beaten in an alleged exorcism ritual.
The girl was caned repeatedly and doused in oil, which ultimately led to her death.
The incident took place in the small town of Delgoda, on the outskirts of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.
The girl’s mother and a local exorcist are under arrest as a result of the incident. They appeared in court on Monday, March 1, 2021, in connection with the death.
The court has ordered both suspects to be detained until Friday, March 12, 2021.
According to local media reports, the child’s parents took her for an exorcism, and a ritual took place to drive away the ‘evil spirit’ possessing her.
A woman yet to be identified allegedly beat the young girl to drive out the ‘spirit’, leading to the child’s death.
According to police spokesperson Ajith Rohana, the girl’s mother believed that her daughter had been possessed by a demon.
The exorcist then took the girl to the woman’s home to perform an exorcism ritual and drive the spirit away.
Rohana said that the exorcist first covered the girl in oil, then repeatedly hit her with a cane.
The child was then taken to hospital after losing consciousness as a result of the beatings.
Speaking of the child’s death, Rohana said:
“The child had collapsed after the severe beating she received. She was found dead on admission to the hospital.”
Ajith Rohana went on to say that the exorcist in question is known in the area for offering similar exorcism services in recent months.
The police have been investigating whether abuse towards anyone else has occurred as a result of an exorcism.
According to the police, an autopsy on the girl is due to take place on Monday, March 8, 2021.
The girl’s body is also due to undergo a post-mortem examination.
The Sri Lankan girl is not the first to die as a result of such rituals. So, Ajith Rohana is urging the public to be careful about exorcism-related services.
Multiple exorcism attempts have taken place in the area in recent years, with some leading to physical harm and death.
Many Sri Lankans seek help from exorcists, witch doctors and the like for help with various issues.
In January 2021, Sri Lanka’s Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi publicly consumed a syrup made by a shaman, who claimed it would provide immunity from Covid-19.
However, the minister ended up contracting the virus and needing treatment.