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HomeNews ReportsJamshedpur: Girl rescued from Hussaini Karbala Imambada was tied up in chains to 'exorcise...

Jamshedpur: Girl rescued from Hussaini Karbala Imambada was tied up in chains to ‘exorcise demons’, says Maulvi drugged and assaulted her

“No one has told me. I am saying that she is possessed by ghosts," the girl's father told when asked why she was kept tied up in the Imambada with chains. The girl was rescued from the Imambada by VHP activists in a deplorable condition.

On September 19, members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad Jamshedpur freed a girl who was kept shackled with chains in the Imambada located on the banks of Kharkai River behind Bodhanwala garage in Bistupur Police Station.

As per reports, the girl was brought to Imambada by her parents on suspicion of being possessed by ghosts. She was tied by the Maulvi of Imambada, identified as Rafique. Members of VHP rescued the girl and handed her over to the police.

Reports suggest that the 24-year-old girl is a resident of Munshi Mohalla, Makadpur, Parsudih. Her family members suspected that she was possessed by ghosts. They took her to Imambada for treatment, where Rafique tied her up with chains. The girl was going through ‘exorcism’ for the last one month. Her father accompanied her during the stay. The girl has alleged that Rafique assaulted her during the exorcism.

The girl was found in deplorable conditions

On the day when the girl was rescued, Ajay Gupta, District head VHP, Jamshedpur Mahanagar, told media that the girl was found in a deplorable condition at Imambada. He alleged that her parents were brainwashed to convert to Islam. He added that the father and stepmother of the girl were not supporting the organization and taking the side of the Maulvi in Imambada.

“We believe that the girl was sexually assaulted in Imambada. We have an on-record statement of the girl that we can give to you if you like. It is a sad situation for Jamshedpur that such incidents are happening in this peaceful region to disrupt the religious harmony,” he added. He said that the administration should take cognizance of the matter and take strict action against the perpetrator.

“We have footage of the girl being held in Imambada shackled in chains. Our organization’s member Ritika was counselling the girl. We have handed over the girl to the administration, and they will update about the case further,” Gupta added.

Girl’s father claimed her younger sister was treated at Imambada

Bistupur police station in-charge Vishnu Kumar Raut said in a statement that the girl was sent for medical examination. The police would continue the investigation once they get the medical report. He added that the father of the girl had told police that the younger sister of the girl was treated at Imambada as she was possessed by ghosts as well. Her father alleged that she got ‘cured’ by the treatment at Imambada.

What happened when VHP reached Imambada to rescue the girl

As per reports, when VHP reached Imambada, they found the girl tied up in chains in deplorable condition. There were signs of physical assault on her face. When she was asked why she was tied up, she said, “They think I am mentally unstable. They think there is a ghost in me,” she said. On questioning Rafique why she was tied up with chains, he said, “She is possessed by the devil. This is why we have tied her up. She assaulted her father, mother and brother.” When they asked him how would he treat her, he claimed there was a “supernatural power” at that place that treats such patients.

He claimed that Karbala was built at the place in 2004. Meanwhile, the girl claimed that she was sexually assaulted by Rafique. While VHP was talking to the girl, her father reached the spot and asked them to talk to him and not to the girl. He said, “I am her father. Her sister is here as well.” Her sister said, “Her mental condition is fine. She is possessed by demons.” When her father was questioned who told them she was possessed, they did not have an answer. Her father claimed, “No one has told me. I am saying that she is possessed by ghosts.”

The girl was sent to MGM Hospital for examination

After recovering the girl, she was sent to MGM Hospital for treatment. Her family was taken to the hospital for questioning. She was further referred to Ranchi for psychiatric treatment.

DSP PCR Animesh Gupta said that the girl was in conscious condition when she was brought to the station. She gave accurate information about herself and her family. She remembered her name and address correctly. “The girl has been sent for medical examination,” he added.

Statement of the girl during counselling

VHP’s Ritika counselled the girl and assured her that the organization would support her no matter what the family said in front of the police. During the counselling session, the girl said that Rafique kept her tied to the chain and assaulted her. “He would give me a glass of water, and after that, though I was awake, I could not do anything and felt if like if I was unconscious. He would take me to the place where he had a lamp and would chant verses,” she said.

When she was asked if her family supported her, she said they did not. “I was taken to Imambada with my father’s permission,” she said. Her father and sister claimed that they had accompanied her all the time at Imambada. When she was asked why she did not go to the police to file a complaint, she replied that as she was tied up, she could not go.

Statement of the girl at Hindu Peeth office

In her statement at the Hindu Peeth office, the girl said that she was given water mixed with drugs; thus, she was not able to understand what was happening to her. She said, “Rafique used to tie me up with chains. He was the one who physically and sexually assaulted me.”

Imambada is illegal, indulging in supersticious activities, say Hindu leaders

OpIndia reached out to Arun Singh of Hindu Peeth and Golu Azad of Vishwa Hindu Parishad to learn more about the case. He said that in District Jamshedpur, there is a place named Bistupur where there is a Hussaini Karbala (Imambada) near the river. He claimed that the Karbala is illegal. At that place, exorcism is common, and people visit every Friday.

“We came to know about a girl who has been tied up there for exorcism as her parents believed she was possessed by ghosts. We also learned that she was a student of a good school. She was getting the so-called treatment at Imambada for the last 32 days. She was mentally and physically abused. A local organization contacted us and informed us about the girl,” he said. They reached there on September 20 morning to rescue the girl.

“When we reached there, we saw her tied up in chains. We made some videos and released her. We then called the police and handed her over to the administration. She was first treated at the district hospital and then referred to Ranchi for further treatment,” He said. Singh further added that it has been over a week that her medical was done, but they did not receive any intimation from the police about the results.

It is a matter of investigation why there is so much delay, he added. He claimed he had talked to the station in-charge 30 minutes prior to talking to us. The station in-charge informed him that they had not received the report yet.

When we asked what further action they were planning to take, Singh said, “We would wait for action from the administration as they have promised us. However, if they fail to take any action, we will do protest against the Imambada and urge the administration to take action.”

While talking to OpIndia, Golu Azad claimed that the police had received the medical report at least seven days ago. He said, “It is a matter of investigation why Bistupur police station is not releasing the medical report of the girl. Why do police hesitate in informing if the report came negative or positive [for the sexual assault]? If someone asks them about the report, they say it is not important.”

Police statement in the case

OpIndia reached out to Bitsupur police station to see if there was any update in the case. The police officer who talked to us did not reveal his name but told us that the father had given in writing that he took the girl to Imambada himself. There was no pressure on him. He said that no complaint has been filed against Rafique.

It is yet to be clarified why such superstitious practices of ‘exorcism’ and brutal treatment of people is being allowed to continue in the place.

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Anurag
Anurag
B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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