I’ve witnessed a number of “exorcisms” in my day. They’re supremely uncomfortable, strange to behold, and rather unbelievable. Imagine a dude standing with his arms upraised one minute, the next he’s flung himself on the floor, is writhing, yelling, “I want JEEEEsus” while surrounded by Sans-a-belt wearing men praying over him.
This process can take a long time, so the audience often evaporated while the men “work on” the poor possessed dude. The long-suffering piano player just kept playing, on and on, until she eventually left.
While the exorcisms I’ve witnessed were loud, none were what I’d call violent. I saw plenty of exaggerated pointing, yelling, perhaps some hitting, but what this girl went through was beyond imagination.
A teenager was tortured to death by a pir during ‘exorcism’ on Friday in a Cheecha Watni village.
The report of an autopsy performed on Salma, 13, stated that she had died from suffocation. It said the girl’s breathing was hampered by blocking her nostrils with cotton buds and holding her mouth shut.
The autopsy, carried out at Cheechwatni tehsil headquarters (THQ) hospital, confirmed that her skin was burnt with a hot iron rod. The report said there were bruises on the girl’s arms, face and chest.
While I can see how these events can escalate, I can’t imagine a parent, sibling, relative, friend, neighbor… anyone… could watch something like this and not intervene.
“The pir said we could take her away and warned us against uncovering her body, wrapped from head to toe in a piece of white cloth,” he added.
He said the pir immediately left the room afterwards. “He had fled by the time we found out that she was dead,” he said.
Hussain said the girl was tied to a charpoy and burned with a heated iron rod. He said the pir had poured red chilli powder on parts of the girl’s body before burning them with the rod. He said the parents were made to leave the room after midnight. “He told us to wait outside. He said it was not safe in the room,” he added.
Khursheed Bibi said the girl had frequently complained of body aches and at times could not speak properly. She said they were certain she had been possessed as several doctors had failed to cure her illness.