PARLAKHEMUNDI:Three more persons including the Sarpanch of Dambaguda were arrested on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in killing two persons accused of sorcery in Pederama village of Gajapati district.
The three are Sarpanch Ramesh Malik, Badeguda Ward Member Pabitra Malik and Kumar Majhi of Badeguda.
On May 27, irate villagers had burnt Subhas Mallick (57) and Pitala Majhi of Paderama village to death for allegedly practising sorcery. On Monday, 12 persons of Badeguda and Paderama villages under Adaba police limits were arrested in the case. Police said the three were also present in Paderama village when the incident occurred and had participated in the crime. Following the death of some people in Badeguda and Paderama villages in the last few years, villagers started suspecting Subhas, a quack by profession, of practising sorcery.
On May 25, people of Badeguda and Paderama villages called a sorcerer of Daspalla to identify the sorcerer in the area responsible for the deaths. The sorcerer, after reaching Paderama, performed ‘Khata Vidya’ during which, a wooden cot was taken on a procession around the village. The cot, during the procession, halted near the house of Subhas, Pitala and another villager, Sami Majhi.
Subsequently, a meeting was organised by the villagers and the three were asked to pay a penalty of Rs 60,000 each for practising sorcery. The villagers let off Sami after he agreed to pay the money. However, Subhas and Pitala refused to pay the amount which enraged the villagers. On May 27, they attacked the two with lathis and killed them on the spot. Their bodies were burnt at the cremation ground in Paderama.
Meanwhile, the three have been remanded in judicial custody after they were produced in a court at R Udaygiri.