Kaliapani: In a shocking incident, eight students of Saruabila Upper Primary School in Kansa panchayat in Sukinda mining area of Jajpur took ill all of a sudden and were admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack where their condition was stated to be critical.
Locals linked the sudden illness of the students with supernatural activity. According to reports, after the prayer class, the students were on their way to their classrooms, but two of them suddenly collapsed on the ground. As they were brought back to their senses with the sprinkling of water, the two mumbled and showed unusual behaviour.
Minutes later, two more girl students fainted, triggering panic among the teachers and other students.
The teachers immediately rushed the four ailing students to a Hanuman temple at Bolani, with the belief that the ‘evil spirit’ possessing the kids can be warded off by divine intervention. As the news spread, thousands of people from various localities thronged the temple.
At about 12 pm, four more students fainted and were brought to the temple. Kaliapani ASI Upendra Das along with other police officials rushed to the spot. Believing that it was a supernatural activity, the locals had also sought the help of a sorcerer and a traditional healer, who spelt charms and mantras, but to no avail.
On seeing their critical condition, police shifted the students to Tata Steel Hospital. As their condition did not improve, the sick students were shifted to SCB. According to villagers, the school was set up on a cremation ground. The students were possessed by ‘apparitions’, they said, adding earlier, four students had fallen ill similarly but were cured by witchcraft.