RAYAGADA: Six persons of Kitum village under Putasingh police limits were arrested by Gunupur police on Saturday for killing three members of a family on suspicion of practising sorcery.
The arrested are Dengunu Sabara, Dalasa Sabara, Ajanta Sabara, Darantu Sabara, Maliku Sabara and Dasanta Sabara. A four-member scientific team from Koraput, led by M Saranya, along with Gunupur and Putasingh police, reached the village and collected bones, ashes and soil from the spot.
When the police reached the spot to collect residue, they found smoke coming out of flame tips. It was also found that other villagers had fled in fear.
On September 9, Asina Sabara (55), his wife Ambai (50) and daughter Asimani (25) of Kitum village under Putasingh police limits were mercilessly beaten up by villagers. After they became unconscious, the villagers injected them with pesticides and buried their bodies. On September 15, when they learnt that somebody had tipped off the police about the crime, they exhumed the bodies and set those on fire at night. Putasingh IIC Gyanendra Sahu said all the three victims were burnt in a single spot to destroy evidence. Following an FIR lodged by Asina’s another daughter Melati Sabara, police arrested six persons.
Eight persons were detained for interrogation on Friday. Melati was rescued by Gunupur police who had rushed to the village after being tipped off about the gruesome act by some villagers. Putasingh police released two minors whose names also figured in the FIR. The IIC said investigation is in progress and if necessary, the two minors and others involved may be arrested.
Meanwhile, Pradesh Congress Committee organising secretary Appalaswamy Kadraka of Rayagada said despite several requests to the district administration to create awareness among tribals on social evils like sorcery, nothing has been done so far. Such incidents take place regularly in the remote pockets of the district but does not come to light, Appalaswamy added.