04/21/2016, 15.47
INDIA
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Chhattisgarh: 11-year-old girl cuts off tongue to offer to lord Shiva

The incident occurred on Wednesday in Sangeetarai village. After initially losing consciousness, she continued to pray in front of a religious symbol, drawing a crowd of curious onlookers. Local authorities deputed a medical doctor to monitor her health.

Raigarh (AsiaNews) – An 11-year-old Indian girl on Tuesday cut off her tongue and offered it to Lord Shiva at a temple in Sangeetarai village, Raigarh (Chhattisgarh).

When police and district authorities rushed to the scene to rescue the child, villagers prevented them from taking the child to hospital because they believe that she would “recover without any medical aid with the blessings of the God,” said Sub-Divisional Magistrate Prakash Sarve.

The girl, who is still at the temple, “was not ready to go home,” he added. However, as a precautionary measure, a doctor has been deputed to monitor her conditions.

Since the incident first occurred, people have been coming to the temple to catch a glimpse of Chameli Sidar, the girl’s name. Her father, Budheshwar Sidar, is a farmer.

After going to a local temple on Saturday, she cut her tongue off with a knife in front of the Siva Lingam, a standing, cylindrical representation of the Hindu deity that symbolises generative power.

Hindu worshippers traditionally burn incense in front of the phallic pillar, which is decked out with flowers on holidays.

Although this is not the first incident of its kind, experts cannot explain the child’s action.

Still, what is more worrisome for a source that spoke to AsiaNews is the fact that the “child was away from home for three days and no one bothered to alert the authorities. Her rights and welfare are at stake.”

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