Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sorada, Feb 18:
After a brief lull, the horror of witchhunt returned to Odisha when a young man accused of practising the evil skill was severely beaten up and fed human waste in Sorada block of Ganjam district last week.
The incident took place in Mayangi village under Asurabandh Panchayat of Ganjam district. While the police have arrested 23 people in connection with the incident, the situation remains volatile in the area.
As per sources in the village, the victim Mitu Swain had personal rivalry with another man of the village named Babu Swain. Things took an ugly turn following the unnatural death of Babu’s brother on January 17 following which Babu complained to the village committee accusing Mitu of practising witchcraft to kill his brother.
The village committee, instead of taking the help of police to investigate the death scientifically, took refuge under ‘Khata Bidya’ (traditional investigation by tantrics to find an evil spirit).
Even though Sorada Police intervened and asked the people to refrain from it, the villagers stuck to their agenda soon after the cops went back. After the tantric suggested Mitu to be the culprit, the angry villagers beat him up severely and fed him human excreta.
As if that was not enough, hundreds of villagers protested in front of the police station to release the 10 men from the village, who had been detained by the police in connection with the assault on Mitu.
The police, however, have arrested a total 23 men from the village as per the complaint lodged by Mitu and have forwarded them to court.
Mitu, on the other hand, hasn’t returned to the village out of fear.
“Police have been deployed in the village as tension continues. The situation is under control now,” said IIC Santosh Kumar Jena of Sorada Police Station.