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Malda: A youth in Malda, suspected to have had suffered a cerebral stroke, has died because of torture by a shaman in the name of driving out a ghost from his body.

Police have now registered a suo motu FIR against the shaman Fazlur Rehman but he has gone into hiding.

The incident had taken place at Halna Muhammadpur village under Malda police station jurisdiction. The victim has been identified as Asadullah Sheikh (32).

On Sunday, Asadullah fell ill at home. The left side of his body turned unresponsive in the course of an hour or so. Instead of taking him to the hospital, his wife took him to a shaman at her parental village at Gazole.

After initial “treatment” by a shaman there, Asadulla’s wife returned to Halna Muhammadpur village with him the next day. But with Asadullah showing little signs of recuperation, the family members then called in a local shaman named Fazlur Rehman.

Rehman brought out Asadullah to the courtyard of his residence and started subjecting him to physical torture saying that he has been possessed by a ghost and it needs to be driven out of his body. The shaman continued with this for hours and this led to Asadulla’s condition deteriorating further.

It was only after this that at the advice of neighbours the family took him to Malda Medical Hospital around 8 pm on Monday. Asadullah breathed his last the next morning. Doctors blamed delayed medical intervention and physical torture as the reasons for his death.

Once the matter came to the notice of the administration, police registered an FIR against the shaman Fazlur Rehman.