Three murdered over sorcery suspicion in Odisha's Balasore

Police detained as many as six residents of Barapada village for their alleged involvement in the murder.
Representative image
Representative image

BALASORE: Three tribal villagers, two of them women, were found murdered in a forested hill on Thursday three days after they went missing, under Oupada police limits of Balasore district.

Police detained as many as six residents of Barapada village for their alleged involvement in the murder which investigators do not rule out may have taken place over suspicion of sorcery practice.

Bodies of the victims, Dampa Singh, his wife Gurubari and another woman Sombari Singh were recovered from the hill near Barapada village. The matter came to light when Somabari’s elder son, who works in Bhubaneswar, called his mother over phone but she did not respond. He came home on Monday and sought his mother’s whereabouts from the villagers who told him she had gone in search of work. Suspecting foul play, he filed a missing persons report with Oupada police station. 

Basing on the complaint, police launched a probe and detained four villagers for questioning. During interrogation, the four spilled the beans and based on their statements, two others were detained.

Oupada IIC Shrabana Kumar Moharana said all the bodies bore critical injuries on the neck, head and back, suggesting fatal assault.

Preliminary investigation revealed that on the night of June 30, the three victims had attended a community feast organised to celebrate a fellow villager’s birthday. An argument between Dampa and some villagers turned ugly and the former was beaten to death on the spot. Somabari, who was present at the party, objected and threatened to reveal the matter to Dampa’s family. She had to pay with her life.

In the meanwhile, Gurubari rushed to the spot only to find her husband dead. When she protested, the villagers lynched her. To keep the incident under wraps, the bodies were dumped in the hill, around five km from the village, police said.

Sources said some villagers suspected Dampa and Gurubari of practising witchraft. Gurubari had lost her eyesight after she ventured into a forest to collect firewood. This led some villagers to believe she practised sorcery. They also suspected her husband was involved, to cause harm to villagers.

A forensic team collected evidence from the spot, while the missing persons report has been converted to a case of murder, Moharana added.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express