A politician in India is under fire after blaming ghosts for a spate of suicides by struggling farmers in his home state.
Bhupendra Singh's stunning claim came in response to a Congressional inquiry into the alarming number of suicides in the region over the last two years.
Asked for details on the astounding 418 farmers that have taken their own lives since the start of 2014, Singh asserted that some of the suicides were caused by ghostly possession.
The supernatural source for the suicides was met with outrage and ridicule from other politicians and the media.
In defending his report, Singh noted that the information was based on the testimony of family members of the deceased.
He went on to observe that "in some rural pockets, a ritual prevails wherein people are freed of influence of spirits."
Nonetheless, critics argue that widespread crop loss and subsequent crippling debt are to blame for the unsettling number of suicides and that the inclusion of ghosts in the report is merely an attempt to obfuscate the issue.
In a world where governments seem to do their best to distance themselves from anything considered paranormal, Singh's steadfast stance that the suicides are caused by ghosts is truly surprising.
But when the alternative may include accepting responsibility for the deaths, sinister spiritual possession may, sadly, be a more palatable answer.