BERHAMPUR: Six persons have been arrested on charges of burning a man alive in Dhepaguda village of Ganjam district on Monday evening on suspicion of practising witchcraft. The deceased was identified as Prakash Mallik.
The incident came to the fore on Tuesday after an FIR was filed by Prakash’s son Nabin at Pattapur police station.
Police said three members of a family in the village had died in the last one year and villagers suspected Prakash of practising sorcery leading to their deaths.
Inspector-in-Charge of Pattapur police station Ajay Barik said, a villager Runa Mallik died on Monday after slipping from a ladder. Runa’s relatives took the corpse to the local graveyard and Prakash also accompanied them, unaware of the impending threat on his life. At the graveyard as the cremation was on, Runa’s relatives beat Prakash mercilessly, leaving him unconscious and threw him in the funeral pyre.
After receiving information, police rushed to the spot and seized some bones from the funeral pyre. They also detained 10 persons. During questioning, the detained villagers informed that three members of Runa’s family met with accidental deaths in last one year and Runa’s relatives believed that the deaths were due to sorcery by Prakash. Subsequently, police arrested six of Runa’s family members - Nilanchal Mallik, Maguni, Dandapani, Bharata, Jogi and Prabhata Mallik. They were produced in court which remanded them in Digapahandi sub-jail. The IIC said others involved in the heinous crime are absconding, but would be nabbed soon.