India: Where the Village Idiot Is the Entire Village

'Dead Man' Walking Sends Village into Panic

from Reuters

NEW DELHI - An Indian man who was believed dead caused panic when he returned, causing villagers to think he had come back as a ghost, the Times of India reported Monday.

Children screamed "Ghost! Ghost!" and villagers locked their doors when Raju Raghuvanshi returned from jail earlier this month to his village in Mandla district in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

Raghuvanshi's brothers, who had shaved their heads to mourn his death in line with Hindu tradition, fled when he appeared, the paper reported.

Villagers and family members have ostracized him, forcing Raghuvanshi to file a complaint with local police. The village council has demanded he prove he is not a ghost, but the paper did not say what kind of proof the elders wanted.

Raghuvanshi's troubles arose after he was jailed last year. In prison, he was admitted to hospital with a stomach ailment from which he recovered but a distant relative told his family he had died.

Spooked Cops Stay Clear of Indian Police Station after Dark

from AFP

BHOPAL, India - Spooked officers are crying off night duty at an Indian police station they say is haunted by ghosts - but their superiors say they are just too lazy to work at night.

"A man with long hair and long nails moves around in the police station," said constable Umed Singh, speaking from the Bharauli police post in the Indian badlands of Bhind in Madhya Pradesh state.

For centuries police and soldiers have fought robbers in the Chambal ravines, a rugged region some 500 kilometres (315 miles) from the state capital Bhopal.

But now the officers say they would rather face bandits than the bogeymen they claim come after sunset.

"Whenever I am on night duty, it seems as if somebody is sleeping beside me and he disappears within seconds," said head constable Rajesh Kushwah.

Other officers spoke of phantoms that move in the darkness outside the police station in the sparsely-populated Bhind.

Senior officers, however, charge that the station staff are using the so-called ghostly sightings as a pretext to avoid night duty.

"I, too, have stayed a night at the 'haunted' police station, but I faced no problems," said Amit Verma, assistant police superintendent.

In the past few months, a number of schools in remote regions of Madhya Pradesh, India's largest state, have been closed after students claimed to have sighted ghosts.


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