Police have arrested a “witch doctor” after a purported exorcism ritual resulted in the deaths of three young children in a village in Twante Township outside of Rangoon.
Witch doctor Ko Tun Naing has been charged with murder, grievous bodily harm and destroying evidence, after the 30-year-old confessed to beating the three children to death.
A police investigation has revealed that three residents of Twante’s 20th Mile East village met with the witch doctor while working in Maubin Township in the Irrawaddy Delta, Burma’s premier rice-growing region. The witch doctor reportedly accompanied them on a visit back home on Tuesday of last week.
On arrival, the witch doctor declared that the house belonging to one of the residents, U Soe Min, was inhabited by evil spirits and in need of exorcism. The witch doctor proceeded to draw a circle and made the family members stand within it. He began to beat and kick a three-year-old boy belonging to the family, claiming the boy was possessed by one of the evil spirits.
“The child was beaten to death and his body was set adrift [in Twante canal],” a police officer at the Twante Township police station told The Irrawaddy.
The police officer said that U Soe Min, who eventually filed a police case against the witch doctor, and his family were too frightened to step outside of the circle during the ordeal, having been threatened by the witch doctor.
The following day, the witch doctor beat to death two girls, aged eight months and two months respectively, in a similar ritual, after which their bodies were buried, the police officer said.
While the witch doctor was beating another girl, aged four years, the girl’s father could “no longer bear the sight” and rushed in to retrieve the girl and brought her to a hospital, where a nurse advised filing a case with the police, the police officer said.