Rayagada: In a curious case that exposes deep-rooted superstition in the minds of so-called educated people in backward districts of Odisha, teachers of a government-run school in Rayagada district Saturday engaged local exorcists to drive away some evil spirits after they noticed some of the girl students behaving abnormally in the school.
According to a teacher of the school, some of the female students studying in class VII and VIII at Chatikona Government Upper Primary School reacted abnormally post-lunch all of a sudden. Prior to the lunch session, they were seen playing under a banyan tree on the school campus. Some of them also threw up and danced in a peculiar manner after coming back to their classrooms.
That said, instead of taking the help of a medical practitioner, the teachers hired a local exorcist to cure the possessed girls. The girls reportedly became normal after the exorcist conducted some rituals.
These girls were later handed over to their guardians by the school authorities.
Moments later, two more girls started behaving irrationally after they came under the same banyan tree. The villagers called another exorcist to cure the possessed girls, however, owing to their deteriorating health condition; the teachers of the school called for an ambulance and got them shifted to a government hospital here.
While superstition is nothing new in tribal-dominated pockets of the state, coming as it does in a government run school and involvement of educated government employees in the incident, how the government reacts to it is yet to be seen.