UMERKOT: Police on Wednesday arrested two ‘exorcists’ who were allegedly involved in torturing a man to death by scorching his body parts with a hot steel jar full of burning coals “to rid him of jinn”.

The accused were produced in the court of judicial magistrate in Samaro who remanded them in police custody for two days.

Bhopo Kolhi, father of the victim, told journalists that his son Ladho, 35, was suffering from chikungunya and they were advised by their relatives to seek help from the exorcists, Karmoon Bheel and Lalyo Bheel to rid him of the disease.

The exorcists arrived on Tuesday evening, burnt a big bonfire, then collected large cinders and put them in a jar of steel with which they scorched abdomen and other parts of his son’s body, he said.

He said that when his son cried in agony and said that he was not possessed by any devil the exorcists persuaded them not to listen to him as “it was indeed the evil spirit” speaking through his mouth to misguide them so they continued with the torture.

He said that his son could take it no more and died at midnight but the exorcists kept assuring them that his son was now rid of the jinn and would soon rise from his slumber.

The exorcists escaped sometime during the night after which they informed police who shifted the body to Umerkot Civil Hospital, he said.

Dr Allah Dad Rathore, who conducted autopsy, said that the body had burn and torture marks but the final cause of death would be determined on the basis of laboratory reports within a week.

SHO Aamir Bhatti said that the FIR had been registered on a complaint lodged by Nelo, son of Bhopo Kolhi, against the exorcists.

The accused told journalists in the court that they were innocent. They had not killed Ladho but the unidentified disease he had been suffering from for two weeks killed him. The scorching through the hot jar could not kill anyone, they claimed.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2017

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