Two arrested for the death of a girl caused by severe beatings during a ritual aimed at chasing an evil spirit, according to the police.
Sri Lankan police say they have arrested two people in connection with the death of a 9-year-old girl who was repeatedly beaten in a ritual that they say drives out an evil spirit.
The two suspects – the woman who performs the exorcism and the girl’s mother – appeared in court on Monday to hear charges regarding the girl’s death, which occurred in Delgoda, a small town about 40 km north. east of the capital, Colombo.
The court ordered the detention of the suspects until March 12.
According to police spokesman Ajith Rohana, the mother believed her daughter had been possessed by a demon and took her to the exorcist’s home so that a ritual could be performed to drive out the spirit.
Rohana said the exorcist first put oil on the girl and then started hitting her repeatedly with a cane.
When the girl lost consciousness, she was taken to hospital, where she died.
The woman who performed the ritual on the girl was known in the area for offering such services in recent months and police were investigating whether anyone else had been abused, Rohana said.
The police spokesperson also urged the public to pay attention to these services, as the girl was not the first to die during such a ritual.