(THE SUN) – A wife suffocated under a pile of cow dung after being told it would cure her snake bite.
Mother of five, Devendri, 35, from a village in Bulandshahr, northern India, was out getting some wood to burn for cooking when a snake bit her on her hand.
She ran home to inform her husband, Mukesh, and they quickly decided to call the local snake charmer.
The local snake charmer, Murarey, advised Mukesh to cover his wife in cow dung, suggesting it would suck out the poison.
People gathered outside the house and watched as Devendri lay outside as Mukesh buried her in cow dung and the snake charmer sat beside her and chanted mantras.
But after 75 minutes Devendri sadly died.
Mukesh said: “My wife went out to get firewood and when she was collecting the wood a snake bit her. We tried some medicines, a grinded powder and tied a rope around her arm. But the snake charmer advised us to cover her in cow dung, so we did.”
“The snake charmer was confident he could help. We left her in the cow dung for 75 minutes. I never thought she would die, I really thought she’d survive and it’d work. I never thought this would happen.”
The snake charmer, Murarey, was filmed and said: “I’m known in this area to treat animal bites. I think the snake was a cobra. And yes, she died because she was buried.”
Mukesh is now left to raise five children alone.
He is completely baffled the burial method did not work on saving his wife.
Station house officer Anand Veer, at Kakod Police Station, said: “We are not aware of this incident at the station. No one has reported anything or lodged a complaint.”
Superstition is India is considered a widespread social problem and usually attributed to a lack of education in rural parts of the country.
Beliefs and practices vary from region to region, with many regions having their own specific traditions and superstitions.
Many beliefs are centuries old and are considered part of tradition and religion, as a result; any introduction of new prohibitory laws often face opposition.