An allopathic doctor has blamed a woman for using an "unscientific treatment" in a vain effort to save the life of an 11-year-old girl bitten by a snake.

Mulamkunnathkavu Medical College Superintendent Dr Praveen Lal has moved the state Human Rights Commission charging that Fatima, who died of snake bite last month, could have been saved if expert scientific or allopathic treatment was made available on time.

In his complaint, Lal said unscientific treatment resulted in the girl's death.

He also charged that Fatima's funeral was delayed till January 26, "showing disrespect to her body". Doctors of his hospital had certified her dead as early as January 22, he said.

Fatima from Poovathur in Thrissur district was treated for four days by traditional herbal experts in snake bite treatment as she reportedly showed signs of life while being given a bath prior to plans to move her to a mortuary awaiting the arrival of her father who was employed in Mumbai.

Vimala Thamburatti of Ullannoor Mana, the traditional expert, who treated the girl has rejected the charges.

"I treated Fatima for three days when she was still alive. I wanted to save her life. How can that be called disrespect?" she said.

Fatima was first rushed to Thamburatti soon after she was bitten but later she was removed to the hospital as she vomited non-stop after the traditional treatment. Lal said the girl was brought to the hospital at 11.45am on January 22, a day after she was bitten.

She was given four bottles of blood and artificial respiration. Her death was confirmed by hospital doctors at 5.25pm.

She was then taken back to Thamburatti. The complaint said when a team of doctors, including a forensic expert, examined the body on January 25 it had begun to decay. Yet the body was buried only the next day.

Lal said it was "cruel to inflict injuries on the body" even after doctors certified her dead. He said he was taking up the issue so that such incidents could be prevented in future.

Dr K. Mohanan of the hospital also said Fatima died due to the treatment of "unqualified hands". He said "people still went to such places due to their lack of knowledge, those running such places neither had any official registration or recognition."

" Such treatment was a criminal offence under the Magic and Remedies Act," he said.

Noting that 90 per cent of snakes were not venomous, Mohanan said the advocates of traditional treatment could only save people bitten by such snakes.

The sole treatment for snake venom was the use of anti-venom. Though this was available with all medical colleges, people were drawn to traditional establishments.

Thamburatty said however: "We give our treatment free of cost. This is just a gesture to help those in trouble. The medicines we give too are free. I believe that there need be no registration for this".