Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Rayagada, Sep 3:
Police today arrested six persons for killing a 76-year-old man of Nimajhola village in Odisha’s Rayagada district on Tuesday suspecting him of practising sorcery.
The incident took place on Tuesday evening when a group of tribal youths of Nimajhola village under Kalyansinghpur police station limits dragged Kuruma Kandagiri out of his house and beat him to death after tying him to an electric pole.
The enraged youths also severely thrashed eight family members of Kuruma when they tried to save the old man from them.
Talking to reporters today, the Rayagada SDPO said the police arrested six persons involved in the murder case and forwarded them to the court today.
“We have collected the charred bones, skull of the deceased and soil from the cremation ground and sent them to the forensic lab for test,” he added.
The arrested six have been identified as Danu Kandagiri (45), Apudu Kadraka (38), Apana Kandagiri (48), Eraka Kandagiri (45), Kantu Miniaka (38) and Taudu Kandagiri (39).
Rao also informed that police forces have been deployed in and around the village to ward off a possible group clash.
“Besides, efforts are on to nab the other accused who have absconded,” Rao said, adding that the situation in the village is tense, but under control.
Sources said the tribals of Nimajhola village had long suspected Kuruma Kandagiri and his family members of the village of practising sorcery.
Their suspicion deepened after the death of Nilambara Kandagiri, a tribal youth in the village, two weeks ago.
As per a decision taken at a meeting held after the killing, the villagers forced the family members to cremate Kuruma and threatened them with dire consequence if they informed anyone, including the police, about the incident. They also warned that anyone who talked about the incident would be ostracised.
Following the threat, the terrified family members cremated Kuruma in the night.
However, the Kalyansinghpur police got information about the killing and rushed to the village on Wednesday morning with one platoon of force and admitted eight injured family members to Kalyansinghpur Community Health Centre.
Later, Rayagada SDPO Y Jagannath Rao, accompanied by sub collector Muralidhar Swain and local tehsildar Goura Chandra Patnaik, arrived at the village with two additional platoons of police forces.
Meanwhile, all male members of the village have left their houses in fear of police action.