A school on the island of Ukulhas in North Ari Atoll has been closed down after a class of 10 female eighth grade students collectively fainted at 10:30am this morning and were hospitalised.
Ukulhas Island Council Vice President Abdulla Firaq told Minivan News the girls were behaving as if “possessed by spirits”.
“They are hurting themselves, making faces and doing all sorts of things that people do when people are possessed by spirits,’’ he said.
“The female students have been experiencing difficulties such as headaches, stomachaches and dizziness inside the school since last week,” Firaq said.
The school brought in a spiritual healer to investigate the mysterious symptoms, Firaq said.
“Two days ago a spiritual healer was brought to the school to see what was going on and today all the female students in the eighth grade fainted at the same time.”
Firaq said some other students in the school were “mentally affected” and also fainted after seeing the eighth grade students do the same, but added that these students had been admitted to the island hospital and were now back to normal.
Firaq told Minivan News that the spirits talked to the spiritual healer through the possessed students, telling the healer that the students were damaging the oleander trees inside the school grounds which were their homes.
“The spirits told the healer that they were forced to live inside the school grounds because of a spell cast on the school by a sorcerer four years ago,” Firaq said.
Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector Hassan Haneef confirmed that 10 students on the island of Ukulhas in Alif Alif Atoll had all been hospitalised after fainting this morning.
Haneef added that police were currently investigating the matter. Asked about the nature of these investigations, the police service would not confirm whether the case involved sorcery, known locally as ‘fandita’.
“It’s something like that,” Haneef said.