Three people were buried up to their neck in a heap of cow dung by villagers in a superstitious belief that they will be 'cured' after lightning struck them in Chhattisgarh's Jashpur district but two of them ended up dying, police said on Monday.
The incident took place on Sunday evening when the three were working in paddy fields in Baagbahar village, located around 400 km from Raipur, Jashpur Sub-Divisional Officer of Police Rajendra Parihar said.
To escape rains and thunders, the three took shelter under a tree. Suddenly, lightning struck the tree, causing serious injuries to all of them, Parihar said.
But instead of rushing them to a hospital, their family members and some villagers buried them from their toes to neck in cow dung thinking this would cure them.
"The villagers believe cow dung has the power to heal burn injuries," the officer said.
Later, when some other villagers intervened, the three victims were shifted to a hospital where two of them - Sunil Sai (22) and Champa Raut (20) - were declared brought dead, the official said.
The other injured person, aged 23, is undergoing treatment at the hospital.
A case has been registered. The official said that compensation will be provided to the kin of the deceased.