Three people, including a woman, were hacked to death and two were assaulted over suspicions of practising black magic in three districts in Odisha, police said on Monday.
A 30-year-old man beheaded a woman in Mayurbhanj district before walking into the police station with the severed head and in Rayagada district, a man hacked two elderly people to death.
Swarnalata Minz, Khunta police station inspector, said Budhuram Singh from Karakachia Nuasahi village of Mayurbhanj district killed his neighbour Champa Singh, 60, suspecting her to be responsible for the death of his young daughter last Wednesday.
Champa was inside her house when Budhiram dragged her out and chopped her head with an axe. Later, he walked to the police station with the severed head and surrendered before the cops.
Police in Rayagada district said Premananda Mandangi of Badakoshapad village under Seskhal Police station area of the district hacked his neighbours Jadumani Mandangi (45) and Poli Madangi (50). Both died on the spot.
Premananda had earlier alleged that three of his family members were killed by Jadumani and Poli by performing black magic.
A village meeting was held three months ago where Jadumani and Poli were asked to pay Rs 3,000 as a penalty for practising black magic. However, they didn’t pay the fine.
The police arrested accused Premanand and seized the bodies of Jadumani and Poli after they were informed by the victims’ families.
In a separate incident, an elderly man and his daughter were assaulted and forced to drink cow dung-laced water over suspicions of witchcraft in Balasore district.
Police said Parshuram Barik, a 60-plus man from the district’s Nilagiri area, was assaulted by his neighbour and several other villagers after they suspected him to of practising black magic.
They said after the daughter-in-law of Barik’s neighbour, Shantilata, fell ill, she called a witchdoctor to his home. The witchdoctor after conducting some rituals said Barik was casting a spell on her.
Following this, other villagers tied him to a tree and assaulted him. When his daughter Puspanjali tried to save him, she was assaulted and both were forced to drink cow dung-laced water.