BHUBANESWAR: In a gruesome incident, six members of a tribal family, including four children, were hacked to death on suspicion of practising sorcery by unidentified miscreants in a remote village of Keonjhar district on Monday morning.
District police reached the spot and found two children in a critically injured state. They were rushed to the district headquarters hospital. One of the suspects has been arrested but the others are still at large.
The incident occurred at Munda Sahi under Joda Police station limits, about 70 km from the district headquarters town Keonjhar. The tribal couple, in their 30s, were found dead in a pool of blood along with their six children. The youngest child to die was a 3 year-old girl, while an 18 year old and a nine year old survived the horrific incident.
Preliminary investigation suggested that sorcery might be the cause behind the brutal murders.
Director General of Police Sanjiv Marik said, the incident has been accorded a high priority case and tagged as “Red Flag” which the District Police will pursue from investigation till the prosecution stage. The Additional Director General of Crime Branch Bijay Kumar Sharma will also monitor the case, he added.
While SP Kavita Jalan has been asked to rush to the spot and take stock of the incident, a DSP-ranked officer will conduct the probe.
A case has been registered under Sections 302 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. During the course of investigation, provisions under Odisha Prevention of Witch Hunting Act will come into force, the DGP said.
While Munda Sahi is wearing a desolate look with all male members deserting the village apprehending police action, efforts are on the nab the killers. An eye-witness in the case told police that a local priest was involved the incident.