Bhopal, February 5: In a disturbing trend, a fifth case within two months has emerged from Madhya Pradesh, where a five-month-old infant, allegedly branded with a hot iron to cure pneumonia, died in Shahdol district. The deceased, identified as Hrishabh Kol, was the son of Ramdas Kol, a resident of Pathra village.

Health officials are yet to confirm whether the infant was branded, as the three marks found on the child’s abdomen were unlike those in previous cases. The infant, who was suffering from pneumonia, also developed septicaemia. Madhya Pradesh Shocker: Minor Girl Going to Attend Coaching Classes Raped, Thrown Off Bridge in Gwalior.

Dr. AK Lal, Chief Medical and Health Officer, Shahdol, stated that the doctors were unable to conclusively determine whether the child was branded due to the confusing nature of the marks on his abdomen. He acknowledged the prevalence of the malpractice of branding infants with hot iron in the region and highlighted the measures being taken to create awareness. Madhya Pradesh Shocker: Woman Raped a Day Before Marriage in Rewa, Wedding Called Off.

“Our district collector has initiated awareness drives among the tribal population. She is organizing camps in the district and we have issued instructions to all the ASHA workers to visit homes, identify children, and report any branding marks found. At the same time, awareness camps are being organized to sensitize people,” Dr. Lal told TOI.

This incident follows a similar case on January 9, where an infant died under similar circumstances, leading to an FIR being registered at Burhar police station against the kin. On January 1, a three-month-old infant from Anuppur district, who was branded multiple times with a hot iron in a superstitious attempt to treat pneumonia, died during treatment at the government medical college, Shahdol.

Two more incidents were reported from Shahdol district in December. On December 29, a 45-day-old infant who was singed to treat pneumonia died at the district hospital. Prior to this, on December 19, a three-month-old girl who was also singed multiple times in the abdomen in an attempt to treat pneumonia died at the district hospital in Shahdol.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 05, 2024 08:38 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website