KOCHI: In the recurring exorcism killings in Kerala, a college student, Aathira, 18, lost her life in Pathanamthitta district on Friday night.
The police has registered a case for unnatural death and detained her relatives for questioning. Aathira, daughter of Prasannakumar of Kalashakuzhy in Vadasserikara, died on her way to the hospital after falling unconscious following an epileptic seizure, her relatives said. However, police is not taking their statements at face value.
The body of the girl had burn marks caused by camphor creating suspicion that she was killed in the course of exorcism and black magic.
A first- year graduate student of St. Thomas College, Ranni, Aathira was brought dead to the Pathanamthitta district hospital. The doctor in the hospital informed the police after he noticed injury marks on her body.
“There were burn marks on the palms, chin and chest and we have registered a case for unnatural death,” A. Srinivas, Pathanamthitta district police chief said.
“We have questioned her close relatives, including her parents,” he said. He, however, denied that a paternal uncle of the girl had been arrested. “Nobody has been arrested so far.”
The girl’s body was sent for post-mortem at Kottayam medical college and only after getting the report the police would be able to comment on the reasons for the death, he added.
The family members of the girl are believed to be followers of a Shubhananda Swami, a local spiritual leader, and they used go for retreat in his ashram, said a local police official.
It may be recalled that in July, a woman in Karunagapally in Kollam district had died due to black magic and in August a pregnant woman in Ponnai, Malappuram, had met the same fate. But police are not taking their statements at face value.