Rayagada: The Gunupur police of Rayagada district yesterday arrested nine persons in connection with the murder of three persons, including a couple at Ukkamba village under Ramanguda block in Rayagada district on suspicion of practicing witchcraft a few days ago.
Rayagada SP Sarvana Vivek M said acting on a tip-off, police conducted raids in Gudari and Padmapur areas of the district and arrested the nine accused and forwarded them to court.
During interrogation, it was revealed that the culprits had set the bodies of the trio on fire, around 150 metres away from the village, after killing them in a bid to destroy evidence, said the SP.
On February 23 night, Gopala Sabar (45), his wife Laxmi Sabar (40) and 76-year-old Jangili Sabar of Ukkamba village were beaten to death by a group of locals on suspicion of practicing witchcraft. Later, a complaint was lodged with Gunupur police on February 25, following which the police had registered a case and begun an investigation.