THE news item carried by a leading Bangla daily on a witch doctor's cruelty to his patients in the name of treatment is as shocking as it is revolting. So far as the report goes, the villain of the story who drove rickshaw and then sold vegetables, turned into a 'healer sage' overnight and then for the last one and a half month has been perpetrating his monstrosities before the very eyes of the villagers. But then were there no sensible persons around the place to protest such brutal punishment inflicted especially on the children and women? For the report mentions that hundreds of people from the locality thronged the venue of cruelty to watch how he beat up, whipped, trampled and did other kinds of atrocious things to his victims. Was there not a single person among them to bring this tale of horror to the notice of the administration or the local public representatives?
Surprisingly, the occurrence of this scandalous activities by the sham healer have taken place at a village that is not far from the capital city, where at least some presence of the police was to be expected at the vicinity of the spot of crime. The common people of the locality, who accepted the fiendish activities of the so-called peer as nothing abnormal, are not certainly living in the modern times. This highlights the need for the carrying forward of the awareness building programmes in remoter areas by the NGOs and other voluntary organisations. For these village people still believe in superstitions like witchcraft, exorcism and all kinds of trickeries in the name of treatment by these fake peers and fakirs.
If truth be told, the responsibility of removing the darkness of superstition from the minds of the villagers lies on the rest of the society. The outrageous tales from the Khashnagar village of Munshiganj speaks volumes for the failure of those who matter and the government to provide the poor and illiterate victims of the felon passing himself for a spiritual healer, with modern treatment facilities at their doorstep. In that case, there is every possibility that those people would not have gone to that crook for treating their children and their near and dear ones.
While from now on we would be expecting that the conscious section of society and the government in particular would be more attentive to the needs of this poor, ignorant and backward segments of the community, the question of bringing these mercenaries of healers to book should also lie on the agenda of the law-enforcement agencies. These wicked people have to be ferreted out and given exemplary punishment for their crimes.
For all we know, the fake spiritual healer named Amzad has been taken into custody. Now law should take its course and if anything remains of the episode it will be laid bare.