Mental torture of 'possessed' alleged
DANG, Nov 9: When Hira Mani (name changed), a local of Satabariya in Dang district, suffered a knee injury from a fall about a year ago, he was rushed to hospital in Nepalgunj. However, the injury did not heal and became aggravated instead.
“The treatment did not work, and he became bedridden,” said Hari Mani's son, Ram. Ram wanted to take his father to a bigger hospital, but his elder brother objected.
“My brother said father is a great believer in God, and as he shares the same faith, he and the rest of the family insisted that father should be taken to church instead," he said. "They believe in miracles and hoped that God would cure those who have faith.”
So Hira Mani was taken to a church in Tulsipur. They performed various types of worship and prayed for his recovery. Months passed and his injury only got worse. Ram again proposed taking their father to a hospital. But he ran into the same opposition from family.
“At the time my brother and I had a huge dispute as he was firmly against taking father to hospital, believing that faith in God would cure him,” said Ram. In the end, they gave in to his insistence and decided to take Hira Mani to Bharatpur Cancer Hospital. But sadly it was too late.
The knee injury had turned cancerous, saping his strength badly.
Relations between the two brothers soured after their father's death. Being a Christian, his brother wanted to perform the last rites as per Christian tradition while other members of the family wanted to follow Hindu rituals. “Our relations have still not mended,” said Ram.
Churches in the rural areas are said to take in the sick, claiming that God can cure all illness. Many Christians in Nepal, especially in rural areas, believe God cures illness among the believers.
Ill people at churches have also been subjected to extreme mental torture. A nearby church said Sita Pariya of Daha VDC-4 in Salyan was possessed. They performed various rites on her and on the fourth day she was taken to a nearby jungle. They started to torture her mentally and hitting her with nettles. She was also fed feces, according to an eyewitness requesting animosity.
“Her brothers-in-law attempted to stop the torture but people from the church prevented them from intervening,” said Sita's husband, Gopal.
After a police complaint was lodged, five people were arrested for inhumane treatment. Local Christians Ganga BK, Ganga Damai, Lali Pun, Rupa Thapa, and Rup Lal Damai have been arrested.