Bhopal: A core area in Satpura Tiger Reserve (STR) in Madhya Pradesh’s Hosangabad district on Wednesday turned a battlefield when a swelling crowd grew restless to touch a ‘miracle tree,’ a Mahua tree believed to cure sick people, and attacked the police deployed in the area, in the process, leaving 11 cops injured.
Hundreds of people from various parts of the state thronged the forested village of Nayagaon to worship the ‘miracle’ tree, leading to a stampede-like situation there.
They turned violent when police tried to push them away to control the situation. The irate mob then pelted stones at the police, causing bleeding injuries to 11 cops.
“As many as 11 policemen were injured in the incident,” Hosangabad district additional superintendent of police Ghanashyam Malavya told this newspaper.
He said that the tree has been attracting people from the state and outside for the last three months after rumours that it has powers to heal even terminally ill people spread like wildfire in the region. No less than 10 lakh people have visited the village so far to worship the tree, police said.
STR sub-divisional officer Lokesh Nirapure
said people were seen carrying infirm and old patients, administered with IV drips, to the tree with the hope of finding a cure.
“Even a woman who suffered brain haemorrhage was discharged from a hospital in Bhopal and brought to the village in a stretcher by her relatives so that she could touch the tree and get completely cured,” he said.
A senior forest officer deployed in the STR told this newspaper that a local farmer, identified as Roop Kumar Singh, was the brain behind the miracle tree. The farmer was heard saying in a video shot by a guard of the STR that he was drawn to the tree when he was passing by it three months ago and then got his limping leg cured when he came in contact with it....