Thieves steal holy man's 'magical' leg
By Laura Clout - 14/12/2007
A Hindu holy man is recovering in hospital after two men cut off his
'magical’ right leg and ran off with it. Eighty-year-old Yanadi Kondaiah,
claimed that those who touched his leg would be cured of illness or
have wishes granted.
But his claims appear to have backfired, after two strangers plied him
with alcohol, then crudely amputated his leg with a sickle.
Police said that the self-proclaimed 'baba’ - or holy man - was
approached by two men who asked him to help them with his magical
powers. Kondaiah, who lives in a village near the city of Tirupati, told
officers that pair returned to him on Tuesday, offering him a drink as
"As the old man had the weakness of drinking, he accepted their
invitation to have drinks with them," said local police Sub-Inspector
"They took him to a deserted spot in the outskirts of the village.
After the old man had passed out under the influence of liquor, they
cut off his right leg from the knee," he said.
The victim was then left alone, bleeding heavily, until he was found
by passing villagers and taken to hospital.
Police are hunting his attackers, as well as the missing leg. "This
seems to be a case of superstition. The two people might have
taken away the leg hoping to benefit from its magical powers," said
Mr Dastgiri added.
Badly shaken by his ordeal, Mr Kondaiah said that he did not
understand the motive of the men in taking away his leg.
"I have always been good to others and helped who ever came to
me. Then why has this been done to me?" he asked, weeping.
Superstitions, belief in magic and the occult remain widespread in
much of rural India.