Guyana to exhume exorcism teen's body

Caribbean Life News/April 26, 2010

A pathologist from neighboring Trinidad, to reexamine the remains of Sangeeta Persaud who died five hours after pastors and elders rushed her to hospital after failing to drive out demon spirits from her at the end of March.

Rohee said he met with the relatives of the deceased high school student in the past week to inform them of the cabinet decision to revisit the issue, denying government has bowed to pressure from one of its Indo Guyanese strongholds at Canal Number Two Polder about 15 miles west of the city.

"This is not a knee-jerk reaction; not a press-button panic situation," Rohee said, suggesting that all parties involved,including neighbors, needed to know exactly what killed the girl in order to "bring closure" to the issue.

This is despite the fact that the girl's grandmother, Chaitranie Ramotar and mother Nankumarie Jaikissoon, were present during the exorcism and were the ones who had actually asked the pastor to attempt to drive out the demons because of their own history of involvement in the occult and because of membership in the community Christian Church.

Ironically, the only non-Indian member of the church, Pastor Ewart Cummings, performed the exorcism with help from Sangeeta's relatives and church elders, among others. Cummings' wife is also Indo Guyanese.

Rohee said the pathologist was due to arrive by early this week and will begin work immediately. Hospital authorities and her parents had said that she was suffering with tuberculosis at the time of her death and probably died because of her weakened state and because of the late decision to rush her to hospital.

Rohee also said that government is concerned about the "controversy that has enveloped" the country since the exorcism, calling it unfortunate and contending that authorities were waiting for "the dust to settle" before getting involved in it.

Sangeeta Persaud who had hailed from a predominantly sleepy Hindu farming community, several years ago had converted from Hinduism to Christianity.

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