RAYAGADA: Sorcery-related violence has raised its ugly head again in Rayagada district. This time, an elderly person was beaten up and set on fire in the remote Sudingaguda village of the district. Though the incident occurred a week back, it came to light on Saturday.
On April 9, Prahallad Majhi (60) of Sudingaguda village in Bankamb panchayat under Tikiri police limits, was beaten to death and his body burnt by some villagers on suspicion of practising sorcery.
Majhi’s three sons, who were out of the village when the incident took place, returned on Saturday and filed a complaint at Tikiri police station. Police, along with a medical team, reached the village and seized the half- burnt body from the site.
According to the complaint, Majhi was dragged out of his house and beaten to death by a group of villagers. Though Majhi’s wife was present at home, her efforts to save him failed.
Inspector in-charge of Tikiri police station Renuka Suna said preliminary investigation revealed that at least five persons, including three women, were involved in the incident. Some villagers have been detained.
SDPO Y Jagannath Rao said after a complaint by Majhi’s son Bhima, an FIR has been lodged.
In the FIR, Bhima alleged that one Binku Majhi of the village was suffering from stomach ailment for nearly five months and his family held Prahallad responsible for the disease. Binku, who was also an accused in the murder, died on Saturday.
Sorcery and witchcraft-related crimes are not new in Rayagada district. Last year, at least six persons were killed in sorcery-related violence in Rayagada district.