Nayagaon, Nov 08: The Rangers of Satpura Tiger Reserve (STR) are worried and are trying to crack a mystery of a "miraculous healing powers of a Mahua tree".
A farmer, Roop Singh Thakur, who they suspect started the rumour of the that is now attracting 25,000 to 30,000 people a day in Nayagaon village, Madhya Pradesh.
More than 10 lakhs people have visited this tree in this village in October, with the frenzy rising by the day.
Police and forest officials are perturbed regarding the incident but the flood of miracle-seekers shows no signs of waning.
After Roop Singh claimed a magic cure by the "miraculous healing powers of a Mahua tree", people are being brought to the tree, hooked to oxygen and IV drips. Old and infirm patients are being ferried on chairs, hooked to IV drips, whole villages are turning up on the back of tractors and a bazaar has sprung up in the protected zone to feed this gathering.
Reportedly, a patient, who got himself discharged from hospital on Wednesday for a healing touch here, died a few hours later.
According to the police some bootleggers have seen here selling coconuts and incense near the tree. By now, photographs of the tree are on sale, along with mineral water and snacks for those visiting the site. This shows the impact of black magic and other superstitions that are practised in some parts of our society in this age. Incidents like this also show the lack of education especially in some parts of rural India.
The site has now turned into a scene of utter chaos, with plastic bags and coconut husks littering the area, and local police desperately trying to avoid a stampede and unceasing noise into the midnight hours.
Besides this, the forest officers fear a massive threat to wildlife.
However, amid all these processes the mastermind of this practice Roop Singh is missing, he has disappeared from the village after claiming that the tree cured him of his limp. People of Nayagaon are cashing in on the frenzy.
Officials strongly believe that the 'miracle' story was planted by some villagers to make easy money.
Before Roop Singh went underground, he was interviewed on video by an STR beat guard.
In the video clip, he said, "I was heading home when this tree pulled me towards it. I was stuck to it for 10 minutes, and when it released me, I could feel a change. I don't limp any more. I started visiting it on Sundays and Wednesdays, and now I'm perfectly all right."