Police set to sue exorcist for child murder
After a toddler and three infants were killed and another child severely injured in an alleged spiritual ritual in Twante township, police are pursuing charges against the exorcist that could result in a maximum life sentence.
POLICE are planning to sue an exorcist responsible for murdering three children during a ritual allegedly aimed at ridding a village in Yangon’s Twante township of bad spirits.
According to police, the exorcist was invited to the village by a local resident.
Ko Soe Min, 18, who works in Ayeyarwady Region’s Maubin township, brought his friend Ko Tun Naing, 30, home to Twante township with him on the morning of October 18.
When Ko Tun Naing arrived at Ko Soe Min’s house, he sensed ghosts and promised to exorcise them.
That night, the families of Ko Soe Min and his three brothers gathered at one of their houses. Nearly two dozen people were present in total. Ko Tun Naing marked off the area and told them they could not leave.
He started with the son of Ko Mya Min Soe. The child, Ko Nay La Lin aka Tit To, was three years old. According to police, Ko Tun Naing kicked, punched and stomped on the little boy. The toddler was dead by about midnight.
The next morning, October 19, at 7 am, Ko Tun Naing got into a boat with Tit To’s body, throwing it overboard in the Twante Canal.
That same morning, Ko Tun Naing resumed beating, kicking, punching, and stomping on the family’s children, police said. Ko Soe Min’s two-year-old daughter Hla Hnin Shwe and eightmonth-old Yamin, the daughter of Ko Soe Min’s brother Ko Aung Soe Moe, were dead by 10pm.
The next morning, October 20, again rising at 7am, Tun Naing buried the infants next to the family’s house.
Ko Soe Min’s four-year-old daughter, Ma Thin Thin Soe, had survived the previous night’s beating but on October 20, Ko Tun Naing resumed the ritual child beating, eventually striking the young girl with an axe. She was sent to Twante township hospital and then Yangon General Hospital with injuries to her cheeks, arms, upper lip, and eyebrow. Health officials reported the abuse to police.
Ko Tun Naing was reported to the police and he was arrested. Police found Tit To’s body in the canal. Ko Tun Naing has been charged under sections 302, 325, and 201 of the penal code, for causing grievous hurt, disposing of evidence, and murder. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Hospital workers carry the body of three-year-old Nay La Linn, a victim of an exorcism ritual, for burial at a public cemetery in Twante on October 22.