In a shocking incident in India, an 18-month-old infant was wrapped in banana leaves and made to lie on a bed of hot charcoal as part of a bizarre ritual. It was reported that the parents of the baby boy were involved in the process.
According to reports, the incident happened in the Dharwad district of the south Indian state of Karnataka during Muharram observance. Muḥarram is the first month of the Islamic calendar.
A video posted by ANI news agency on Twitter shows the baby crying and struggling as smoke pours out of the charcoal bed.
"The parents of the baby had prayed for a boy two years ago. On their wish being fulfilled, they had come to fulfil their promise. The baby was placed on a bed of charcoal that was doused off. As it was slightly hot, banana leaves were used. It was for just a couple of seconds," a police officer said.
The police officer said that though no complaint has been lodged, the Child Welfare Committee has been informed and has been requested to counsel the parents.
The bizarre incident came to light days after the Karnataka state cabinet cleared legislation ending "inhuman evil practices", formally called the anti-superstition bill.
Since the case has come to the light, people on the social media have condemned the practice and called on the authorities to take strict action against those involved.
One person on Twitter asked the police to put parents of the child behind bars immediately, while another user named Devika tweeted: "Idiots!! When will these inhuman and brutal rituals stop in the name of religion? Time to end all this nuisance."