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Baghty awake for midnight snake puja
Correspondent: Wokha, 17 Aug 2008
Published on 17 Aug. 2008 12:07 AM IST
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Baghty valley under Wokha district is agog with news of a snake puja to be performed by a 14-year old Adivasi girl on the banks of the Baghty river, Saturday on the dot of midnight.
The minor girl identified as Junali, daughter of Lelenga working as a farm hand for one Khodamo Yanthan of Upper Baghty village, is all set to summon three snakes and seek healing powers from the serpents by performing the puja.
According to official sources, a pandal for the puja has already been erected on river bank, fresh milk kept ready to offer to the snakes and a drum to summon the snakes.
When contacted, EAC Baghty confirmed the news and said he already visited the site for verification.
Family members of Junali who said they were expecting three snakes to turn up, also claimed that while two of the snakes would be small, the third snake called “Nag Raja” would be “white in colour and over ten feet long.”
They further claimed that they had seen the snake before and that it was bigger than a python.
It may be mentioned that rumours had been doing the rounds in Wokha district for the past four-five days about a marriage to take place between the Adivasi girl and a snake.
The rumours about the marriage, also widely circulated through SMSs, mentioned that the affair between the girl and the snake had been going on for 4-5 months.
It was further rumoured that the snake used to come “flying” in the air whenever it visited Junali during nighttime and turned into a man as soon as the serpent touched ground.
While dismissing the marriage part as rumours, the Baghty administration however confirmed that the puja would indeed be performed Saturday midnight.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that many villagers and citizens of Baghty town, some 60 kms away from Wokha town, had decided to forgo sleep Saturday night to watch for the “unexpected.”
Most of these villagers expressed doubt about possible appearance of the snakes during the puja.

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