Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Sep 6:
Police today released a suspected sorcerer, who was detained in the police station since last night after as many as 27 human skulls were found from his house at Siddhamahavir Patana under Kumbharpada police station limits in Odisha’s pilgrim town of Puri.
The alleged black magic practitioner, identified as Er Manoranjan Jena alias Manu Bhai, was released on a personal recognizance (PR) bond today.
Following allegations by locals, local police opened the house, named Muktidham Dharmashala, with the help of Jena, who lives in Srikshetra Colony last night. They found 27 human skulls lined up on the shelves of his house. However, they did not find any suspicious object or any document from the room pointing towards sorcery, police said.
The accused was detained by the police for questioning at the Kumbharpada police station. However, he was released on a PR bond today.
“We had visited the house yesterday where we found 27 skulls. We are investigating the case and more details would come out after further investigation. The accused claimed that he has collected the skulls from the cremation ground. Apart from human skulls, replicas of skulls were also found among the real ones,” Kumbharpada police station OIC Kshireswar Sahu said.
The skulls have been sent for forensic examination to find out whether they were human skulls, their age and sex etc. Based on the forensic report, further action would be taken, he said.
During questioning, the accused said that he is an engineer by profession and works with ONGC in Mumbai.
“It is a motivational centre and I have kept these skulls since last nine years. I have even uploaded pictures and information about this on internet. It is my part of my efforts to rid people of their fear of skeletons or ghosts. If it is punishable under law, then I respect the law and will accept the punishment,” Manoranjan Jena said.
The engineer claimed himself to be an atheist and said that he regularly visited schools and created awareness among students. He used to convince children not to believe in ghosts.
However, the local people did not buy the defence put up by Manoranjan Jena. They said that his attire, activities, body language and even way of talking were all suspicious. He had hung skulls and bones in front of his gate as that of danger signal.
“We suspect people used to come to his house for tantra puja. We witnessed suspicious activities since long, but could not raise our voice due to fear,” a local resident said.