BARIPADA: Close on the heels of three murders over witchcraft in Rayagada district, an elderly couple was allegedly killed on the suspicion of practicing sorcery in tribal dominated Mayurbhanj district. Police on Tuesday registered a case and initiated a probe into the ghastly double murder.
The incident that sent shocking waves in the locality was reported from Kathachua helmet in Ambadhai village under Sarat police limits on Monday night. A group of villagers allegedly hacked Hadi Purti (60) and his wife Mandei Purti (53) to death when they were asleep.
Son of the deceased couple Bijay Purti alleged three persons slit the throats of his parents who were sleeping on the verandah of their thatched house and stabbed them to death before fleeing the scene.
"I was inside the house along with my wife and children while my parents were asleep on the verandah. Listening to their screams I came out of the room and saw my parents were lying on a pool of blood and the miscreants running away," he wrote in the complaint lodged with the police.
Police said Hadi had at least 20 stab injuries on his body while Mandei's throat was slit and her left hand was chopped off.
OIC of Sarat police station Nabakishore Dash said he rushed to the spot following information from the Gram Rakhi. Preliminary investigation revealed that a group of residents had organized a village committee meeting and discussed on deaths of some persons in the village in recent times.
They held the old couple responsible and blamed them of practicing sorcery. Suspecting that black magic practiced by the couple is the reason behind illness of some villagers, they decided to eliminate them.
"We have detained three persons in this connection and they are being interrogated. A case under sections of 302 and 34 of IPC has been registered and the bodies have been sent to Udala hospital for autopsy. Further investigation is on," Dash added.
Mayurbhanj tops the chart of sorcery killings in the State with at least 61 deaths between 2005 and 2014.