Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Keonjhar, Jul 15:
Odisha police has arrested nine persons in the Keonjhar Lahanda Hill witch hunting case so far, including the two persons arrested yesterday, informed Crime Branch ADG B K Sharma.
The Crime Branch ADG today visited Keonjhar and supervised the investigations in the case. With the arrest of seven more in the case today, the total number of arrested persons in the case has gone up to nine.
The spine chilling incident occurred on Sunday night when six members of a tribal family, including a three-year old girl, were brutally killed and two others critically injured in a concerted attack in a remote village atop the Lahanda hills in Joda-Barbil area. Fellow villagers are believed to have perpetrated the crime suspecting the family to be practicing witchcraft.
The critically injured are undergoing treatment at the district headquarters hospital at Keonjhar.
Two of the nine people arrested were relatives of the victims and had blamed them for a spate of illnesses among infants in the village, police sources said.
The nine have been charged with murder and under the Odisha Prevention of Witch Hunting Act, the sources added.
While the State Police have accorded Red Flag category status to this heinous killing, the Crime Branch is monitoring the investigations in the case.
Notably, the assailants had hacked Gura Munda (35), his wife Budhni Munda (30), sons Sunil Munda (16) and Kushanath (10) and two daughters Sambhari (12) and Namita (3), they had critically injured two other family members Ganit Munda (18) and Shambhu Munda (9) with axes.