May 31, 2007 / 12:41 PM / 12 years ago

Indian family exhumes son's corpse to revive him

BHEJAPADAR, India (Reuters) - The corpse of an Indian man was exhumed by his family in a remote eastern village in the belief that a witch doctor could bring him back to life, three days after he died.

Arun Majhi, 21, died after he was bitten by a snake while scouring the jungle near his home for firewood last Thursday and his grieving family buried him the same day.

But two days later, Majhi’s mother dreamt that her son could come back to life. On Sunday, they dug his grave, exhumed the corpse and hired Natabara Sahu, a local witch doctor, who promised to do his best.

“I am sitting beside my son waiting for him to come back to life,” Bibhisan Majhi, Arun’s father, told Reuters Television as he fanned Arun’s corpse, which was covered with a mosquito net.

But with Arun still dead two days after the witch doctor was hired, the family gave up and reburied him in Bhejapadar village in the eastern state of Orissa.

Superstitions are widespread in India, especially in rural areas where an ineffectual schooling system has left millions illiterate and uneducated.

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