Police in Sri Lanka arrested two individuals following the death by caning of a 9-year-old girl in an exorcism ritual gone awry, authorities announced Monday.
Those apprehended include the so-called exorcist who performed the ritual and the girl’s mother, reported local outlet Adaderana. (RELATED: Australian Woman Beheaded By Daughter After Paying For Exorcism To Get ‘Demon’ Out Of Her)
The child’s mother reportedly consulted the exorcist Feb. 27, after the girl fell ill. The mother claimed that evil spirits had possessed her daughter, police spokesperson Ajith Rohana told the Daily Mirror Lanka.
A 9 year old girl beaten mercilessly by an exorcist.. Its the 21st century. Are we still living in medieval times?#SriLanka— Jamila Husain (@Jamz5251) February 28, 2021
The “exorcist” proceeded to apply oil on the sick girl before striking her with a cane to “expel the demon within her,” according to Adaderana. During the thrashing, the girl lost consciousness and was hurried in a critical condition to Biyagama Hospital, where she was reportedly declared dead on admission.
An autopsy of the dead girl is scheduled to take place Monday, reported the Associated Press (AP). Police are reportedly looking for other cases of abuse committed by the exorcist. The 9-year-old is not the first to die in such a ritual in the country. Authorities mentioned in their warning to the public to keep away from such ritual exorcisms, according to the AP.
The exorcist is known to conduct similar rituals in Meegahawatta, Delgoda, a town northeast of the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, according to Adaderana.
The case is part of an ongoing investigation by local authorities.