MP: Village 'dai' brands infant with hot iron rod to treat pneumonia; three booked
Shahdol, Nov 21 (PTI) A one-and-a-half-month-old boy suffering from pneumonia was branded with a hot iron rod more than 40 times by a 'dai' (traditional birth attendant) as a 'treatment' for the illness at a village in Madhya Pradesh's tribal-dominated Shahdol district, officials said on Tuesday.
When the child's condition deteriorated earlier this month, he was taken to a hospital where the matter came to light. More than 40 scars were found on the child's neck, stomach and other body parts, they said.
The boy is now being treated at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Shahdol and his condition is fine. A probe has been ordered into the matter, officials said.
The women who work as traditional birth attendants in villages are called the 'dai'.
Police have registered a case against the dai, identified as Booti Bai Baiga, the baby's mother Betlwati Baiga and grandfather Rajani Baiga under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, a senior police officer said.
The baby's family, resident of Hardi village, had approached a 'daai' (village nurse) who allegedly poked the child's body with a hot iron rod more than 40 times in a bid to treat pneumonia on November 4, officials said.
'The family of the infant boy got the hot iron treatment done at their home from a 'dai',' said Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) Dr RS Pandey.
When the baby's condition deteriorated, he was taken to the district hospital, from where he was referred to the medical college for treatment, he said.
A team of health officials has been constituted to conduct a probe into the matter, he added.
Dr Nishant Prabhakar, head of the paediatrics department at the medical college, said the baby was branded with a hot iron rod at the time of birth and again when he suffered from pneumonia.
More than 40 scars of branding were found on the child's neck, stomach, back and other body parts, he said.
'The boy is doing fine now following treatment at the government hospital,' said Dr Prabhakar.
In Shahdol, City Superintendent of Police (CSP) Raghvendra Dwivedi told reporters that three persons, including the concerned 'dai', the boy's mother, and grandfather have been booked under the IPC and the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act.
It has been a common practice to brand children with iron rods to treat their illnesses in tribal-dominated areas of the district.
In February this year, the body of a two-and-a-half-month-old girl was exhumed in Shahdol district for an investigation following her death after allegedly being branded with a hot iron rod more than 50 times to treat pneumonia.
In the same month, another case came to light where a three-month-old girl was branded with a hot iron rod in the district. PTI COR ADU GK NSK
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