Karnataka to ban burying disabled kids neck-deep during eclipses

BANGALORE - The Karnataka government will ban the ritual of burying disabled children neck-deep in mud during eclipse for curing polio or other disabilities, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said here Thursday.

“We are going to ban such heinous ritual of burying disabled children neck-deep in mud during eclipse or other occasions under the belief that they would get cured of their handicap,” Yeddyurappa told reporters.

The chief minister’s announcement came after a few disabled children were buried alive up to neck early Wednesday at Gulbarga in north Karnataka, about 750 km from here, under a superstitious belief that they would be cured of their ailment by the effect solar eclipse.

“We will issue instructions to all district authorities to prevent such rituals hereafter for any occasion. The people have to be educated against such inhuman practices against their (own) children,” Yeddyurappa said.

The incident happened in Mominpur locality near Saath Gumbaz, a suburb in Gulbarga town, dominated by the minority community.

The age-old ritual gained prominence after some disabled children reportedly got partially cured after they were forcibly buried neck-deep during a solar or lunar eclipse.

“We learnt about the incident a few hours after the eclipse and rushed to the locality to meet parents of the kids who were made to undergo the inhuman ritual during the solar eclipse (5.30 a.m.-7.30 a.m.). Nobody came forward to identify or name those who participated in the ritual,” Gulbarga zilla parishad (district council) chief executive officer Anub Kumar told IANS by phone.

The district administration has decided to launch an awareness campaign against the ritual and take precautionary measures to prevent anyone resorting to such superstitions.

“We have told the families in the locality to take their polio-stricken or disabled children to the state-run hospitals in the town or district for cure or treatment and not resort to such practices,” Kumar said.

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