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Snake fails to turn up for puja
WOKHA, AUG 17 (Correspondent)
Published on 18 Aug. 2008 12:39 AM IST
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Whether is was a religious snake puja or marriage with a snake; Sunday midnight’s tryst turned sour for 14- year old Junali, when the snake(‘Nag Raja’) failed to appear at the appointed time. Sources claimed that the ‘Nag Raja’ did not appear as there were too many people. Worse for the 14-year old, she and her father had to be whisked away to protective custody by the police fearing harm for their lives. Eye witness accounts said Junali had prepared for the occasion, dressed up in her best but the effort and wait went in vain. Midnight came but the tryst with ‘Nag Raja’ never took place. With the entire Baghty area agog with excitement over the puja, thousands had gathered by the banks of Baghty River in Wokha district to witness the spectacle. Even when the hour hand touched 1 a.m. the ‘Nag Raja’ failed to appear. By that time, the expectant crowd grew restless. Sensing the mood and apprehending some trouble, the local police stepped in and took both Junali and her father Lelenga, an Adivasi working on the agricultural farm of a Lotha local into protective custody. A reliable source told Nagaland Post that the police have not filed any complaint against the duo but only took them as precautionary measure to prevent any untoward incident. Bhandari police station, under which jurisdiction Baghty falls, could not be contacted for confirmation due to connectivity problem. Meanwhile, the local authorities at Baghty said that Junali and her family had informed that she was only to perform puja to the snake to obtain healing. However, even after past midnight Sunday at the Baghty river, people said they were told Junali was supposed to marry a snake. It was not known whether Junali’s puja or marriage has been rescheduled.

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