Superstition draws crowd in MP village to seek protection against COVID-19

Rajgarh: Defying COVID-19 norms, a large number of people gathered at a village here in Madhya Pradesh under the belief that a woman, supposedly blessed by a Goddess, can protect them from the viral infection, police said on Thursday.

Following the gathering of over 150 people on Tuesday at Chatukheda village in Rajgarh, police registered a case against the woman and three other persons under the IPC and the Disaster Management Act, Khujner police station in-charge Umesh Yadav said.

A video of the incident went viral on social media in which a temple priest was purportedly heard saying the woman was under the spell of “Pari Mata”, a local deity, and the water offered by her would help them keep the coronavirus at bay, the official said.

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In the video, a large number of people, mostly women, were seen standing at a place in the village and most of them were neither wearing masks nor following the social distancing norms, he said.

The district administration has banned all social and religious gatherings in the wake of COVID-19, he said.

However, over 150 people gathered at the event on Tuesday, in violation of the collector’s orders, the police official said.

Khujner tehsildar Shambhu Singh Meena said on getting information about the gathering, he went to the village and perusaded people to return to their homes following which the crowd dispersed.

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