Three held for murder

The three murder accused. Telegraph picture

Baripada: Mayurbhanj police arrested three persons for murdering a 64-year-old man on suspicions of black magic on February 25.

The accused are Sanjandrai Banara, 48, Rega Gaipai, 55, and Saluram Singh, 50, from Hudisahi village in Kaptipada block. The trio were booked for murder and violation of Odisha Witchhunting Prevention Act, 2013 and sent to jail after their bail petitions were rejected.

The trio had attacked Sukura Singh of the same village with a spade on February 25 when he was asleep. At that time, no other family member was in the house. His body was found the following morning and his neighbours informed family members as well as the police. The police began a probe with the help of a scientific team.

The police said Banara was the main culprit. His wife had died three years ago after suffering from a rare disease, while his mother died a month ago following fever-related ailments. Similarly, Gaipai and Saluram's wife were also suffering from fever. The trio had consulted a sorcerer and he reportedly pointed at Sukura. Following this, the trio hatched a conspiracy to murder Sukura.

Sub-divisional police officer S.R. Mahapatra said the assailants attacked him when he was alone as his wife and other family members had gone to Bahalada, while his youngest son was writing his matriculation exam. "The trio confessed to the crime during interrogation. They suspected that Sukura's black magic was causing them misfortune," said Mahapatra.


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