A 9-year-old girl in Sri Lanka died after she was beaten up during a ritual that is believed to drive away evil spirits.
The incident took place in the small town of Delgoda on the outskirts of Colombo.
According to police, the mother of the victim thought that she had been possessed by a demon. The mother took her daughter to an exorcist. The woman began hitting the girl with a cane.
The girl lost consciousness and was taken to a hospital where she was declared dead. Authorities are waiting for an autopsy report.
Police Spokesman, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ajith Rohana said that “the mother had suspected that the daughter had been possessed by a supernatural existence causing illness. The mother took the child to a neighbouring house to perform the shamanic ritual. The particular neighbourhood lady provided a treatment using some oil. Then it was reported that she then proceeded to attack the child using canes to rid her of the demon being. After being attacked by canes the young girl fell unconscious and was taken to the Biyagama hospital last night, where the doctors reported her passing.”
The victim’s mother and the woman who performed the exorcism have been arrested. The woman who performed the ritual is known in the area for offering such services.
Police have urged people to be careful as they suspect that there may have been more victims.
(With inputs from agencies)