A man from India cut off his own tongue to appease deities and get them to stop the coronavirus pandemic, reports claim.
Vivek Sharma, 24, was reportedly rushed to hospital after he was discovered lying unconscious with his tongue in his hand in Suigam, a Taluka of Banaskantha district in Gujarat, on Sunday.
The stone sculptor is said to have become frustrated when the Covid-19 lockdown meant he could not go back to his home town in the Morena district in Madhya Pradesh.
After working on an extension of the Bhavani Mata temple in Suigam for two months, he allegedly told co-workers he was going to visit a market. When he did not return, his brother called his phone, only for a stranger to answer and tell him Vivek had chopped off his tongue at the Nadeshwari temple.
The young man was taken to a hospital in Tharad where doctors attempted to reattach his tongue, but it remains unknown if they were successful.
A complaint lodged with police reportedly claims he took the drastic action in a fit of rage.
A police source allegedly told Indian media that he believed his tongue could be used as a sacrifice to please Nadeshwari Mataji and stop the virus outbreak.
However, police inspector HD Parmar said this could not be confirmed until an investigation into the incident was completed.
He told the Times of India: ‘For the last few days, he was keen to go back to his native town in Madhya Pradesh, but it was impossible due to lockdown. Today in reckless abandon, he chopped off his tongue.
‘We found him lying unconscious in the temple premises with the tongue in his hand. The priest called the Border Security Force (BSF) commander and Sharma was moved to a hospital in Tharad town where doctors are trying to reattach his tongue.’
He added: ‘Only after a thorough investigation, we will know the exact reason for such a step.’