Alleged land grab for cobra boy devalaya

By Hiran Priyankara Jayasinghe

A police intelligence officer has allegedly erected a devalaya at a village in Nattandiya within one day on the basis that his son is possessed by the spirit of a cobra and if the devalaya is not built the entire village will turn into a pool of blood.

Resident say the policeman attached to the Intelligence Branch of the Chilaw Police had constructed the devalaya on a 80-perch block of land at St. Mary’s Garden at Marawila, Natttandiya. This land had been ear marked for a public playground.

The Cobra devale being built on state land

They say the Pradeshiya Sabha in the area has not taken any action to stop the illegal construction even though the matter has been brought to its notice.

The story of the 16-year-old boy’s alleged possession of spiritual powers had come about after he contracted a serious ailment and was first treated at a private hospital and then at the Marawila hospital.

He had been taken to a faith healer who discerned that the boy possessed divine power. The boy’s father said his son had recalled that he had killed a snake about two years ago and now he was possessed by the spirit of the reptile.

One day the boy in a trance had threatened that if a devalaya was not built on the said land, the village would become a pool of blood. This had driven fear into the minds of the residents. They had then completed the construction of the devalaya in a day with about 100 men working on it. However some residents are sceptical about the claims of the boy.

He is being closely guarded and no photographs of him have been allowed. Even though some Buddhist monks have visited the home seeking to help out, they have been turned away.

It is alleged that the electricity supplies to the devale has been illegally obtained and even this is being ignored by the Electricity Board. When asked for comment, the Superintendent of the Electricity Board in the area said he was not aware of this matter. Nattandiya PS Secretary Apsara Nissanka said that she could not comment while chairman Srimal Perera said he would look into the matter.

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