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Just when you think you've seen it all.

Hundreds of infants were dropped and caught from the roof of a Muslim shrine in western India this week, as part of a religious ritual believed to have been practiced for nearly 700 years.

Each year, hundreds of Muslims and Hindus take part in the controversial ritual at the Baba Umer Durga shrine in Sholapur, about 450 kilometers south of Mumbai. The parents believe that the fall will ensure good health and prosperity for their offspring.

According to tradition, the infants are dangled from the roof of the shrine, then they are dropped about 15 meters onto a bedsheet held aloft by parents and other believers. With high child mortality rates, many Indians resort to rituals which they believe can ensure their children's health.

Children's rights activists expressed their outrage, and India's National Commission for Protection of Child's Rights says it is investigating the practice.


http://www.cctv.com/program/worldwidewatch/20090801/101115.shtml


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