For four hours after his death, the family members of 22-year-old Hemraj Kumar sat with the body in the ICU of Kota’s New Medical College Hospital. A doctor wanting to cut off the ventilator support was reportedly asked not to bother as the youth, who suffered serious head injuries in an accident on April 8, will soon be “revived”.
According to hospital superintendent Dr R K Meena, a tantrik then entered the ICU and tried to bring Hemraj back to life. “The tantrik had a sword dangling by his side. Amid chants, lemons were cut in the ICU. However, Hemraj did not come back to life. Sometime later, a man brought in a chicken and it was ‘offered’ amid chanting of mantras. This went on for four hours,” he said. Meena added that the hospital staff did not intervene as the matter was “sensitive”. After all their efforts failed, the family finally accepted the body around 1 pm. Asked if the hospital had filed a complaint, Meena said, “We won’t file any police complaint as it was an emotional issue for them.”
Hemraj’s uncle Bunty Singh, however, said no ‘sacrifice’ was performed. “Some of our elders and I went to the hospital and prayed for Hemraj in the ICU. We didn’t do anything as claimed by the hospital,” Singh said, adding that Hemraj was the “most educated” among the Banjaras.