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Exorcist arrested after Jatra artiste dies of snake bite

Kolkata: Two days after a Jatra artiste died due to a snake bite while performing in Hasnabad in North 24-Parganas, the Basirhat police on Thursday arrested the exorcist, Doyal Biswas, who had allegedly handed over the snake to the victim.
Kalidashi Mondal, the victim was declared brought dead in a hospital when she was taken there four hours after the incident. She was performing a Jatrapala with a venomous snake. The hospital authorities said the patient's life could have been saved, had she been brought to the hospital earlier.
'Manasa Mangal' was being enacted by the victim and her troops in Barunghat area of Hasnabad on Tuesday evening. The Jatrapala was organised at the house of one Manoranjan Das on the occasion of Manasa Puja. Biswas allegedly handed over the snake to the victim as it was decided that the performance would be done with a snake. The Jatarpala organisers thought it was venom less.
Police are interrogating Biswas to know why he handed over a poisonous snake to the victim or why he did not allow the patient to be shifted to the hospital. It was learnt that during the interrogation, he failed to provide any satisfactory answer as to why he brought two snakes all the way from Haroa. The accused, however, claimed that the Jatra astistes asked for a snake for making the performance more lively. But the investigators are yet to find out the reason why he brought a poisonous one. According to police, when the woman collapsed on the stage, the exorcist insisted on doing the treatment himself and did not allow anybody to take her to a nearby hospital.
He continued his tricks on the woman for four hours. When the locals and her fellow colleagues finally took her to the hospital, the doctors pronounced her brought dead.
Police are investigating the role of the victim's colleagues and why they did not send her to the hospital immediately after she was bitten.

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