Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Malkangiri, Apr 14:
Police Wednesday arrested six persons in connection with the brutal murder of a lover couple in Padia block in Odisha’s Malkangiri on November 26 last year following a decision at a khap panchayat (an assembly of clan elders).
Those arrested are Sheikh Dulla (60), Aita Madhi (50), Kamram Mala (28), Madhi Dula (50), Budra Madhi (25) and Budra Madhi (32). All of them were forwarded to court after interrogation.
It may be recalled that a minor girl of Sukraguda village in Moteru panchayat under Padia block of Malkangiri district along with a distant relative who was also a minor had gone out of the district to work as migrant labourers.
While working as migrant labourers, the two developed an affair. However, the new relationship was not accepted by their community. Family members and villagers suspected the minor girl to being pregnant.
Lastly, a meeting was held in the village. As per the decision of the village elders, the couple was thoroughly thrashed and driven out of the village. The distressed couple took shelter in a village on the banks of river Saveri.
The couple was again produced at the village meeting and beaten black and blue on orders from the village elders.
The minor girl was first disrobed and then tonsured at the meeting in the presence of all. The couple’s bodies were later dumped in river packed in sacks.
A week later, the bodies were recovered from the river downstream by the police at Dornapal in Chhattisgarh which later handed them over to Padia police after the conduct of autopsy.
Police said still some of the accused are at large and will be very soon arrested.