Exorcist claims possession by ‘dark spirits’ in child killing trial

Tun Naing (L) is chained with other detainees on arrival at a Yangon court compound on November 18, 2016. © Romeo Gacad
A man charged with beating three children to death during an exorcism ritual in Myanmar claims supernatural beings possessed him.

Tun Naing appeared in court in the capital Yangon over the grisly killings, during which three infants were alleged to have been savagely kicked and punched, reports AFP.

Escorted in chains by city police, the self-professed ‘sorcerer’ told reporters on Friday that he was not in control of his own body at the time of the deaths but instead had been possessed by supernatural spirits.

“I lost control of my mind at that time as the dark spirits took over me,” Naing, is quoted in the Straits Times.

In this file photo taken on October 22, 2016, 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 town, south of Yangon. © Romeo Gacad

One of the Twante village victims was an 8-month-old baby, while another has been identified as 3-year-old Nay La Linn. The third was a 2-year-old girl. Police said the bodies showed evidence of being kicked and beaten.

A resident of Twante, located 50km outside the capital formerly known as Rangoon, has spoken about how villagers were made to stand in a circle during the exorcism as spells were cast. The three children were allegedly killed over a two-day period.

In Myanmar, the belief of ‘nats’, or spirits, is reportedly commonplace for people practising forms of Buddhism.

There are said to be 37 different spirit types, many of them depicted in places of worship, according to National Geographic.