Malkangiri: Sorcery to cure snakebites, hot iron branding for respite from fever and witchcraft to resurrect the dead is still widely prevalent in interior regions of India. Thus it comes as no surprise, that a bamboo pole was pressed into service to locate a stolen idol and catch a thief in Malkangiri on Friday. For your better judgment, here is the whole story.
This morning, villagers of Purunaguma in Khairput block gathered on a nearby hill when they found out that the idol of Goddess had been stolen from Bhairabi temple. While tension prevailed, the priest pulled an idea out of thin air. He asked villagers to dedicate all rituals of the day to a bamboo pole present in the temple. He said that the bamboo could help in tracing the thief.
Gullible villagers having complete faith in the priest started worshipping the bamboo pole. After 2-3 hours, the priest took the pole in his hands and felt a sudden pull. As per the priest’s prophecy, the pole was actually guiding the villagers to the thief’s home. The people followed the priest as the bamboo pole showed the way.
10 kilometers away, the search party reached Gadiput village. The pole took the priest inside a non-descript house where the idol was miraculously found. To add cherry on the cake, the owner also confessed that he had stolen the idol. People were shocked and surprised but at the end of the day, their faith on the priest increased many folds.
Few years back in Nayagarh, locals had thrashed a villager and thrown him out of the village after he was “identified” as the culprit by a “sacred” cot. With such incidents on rise, rationalists fear cops might have to hang up their uniforms and digital age of investigation would soon perish.