April 15, 2018 2:09:40 am
The Gunupur District Court on Friday sentenced nine people to death for brutally murdering three members of a family in 2016 after suspecting they were practising sorcery. The murders in September last year in Rayagada district reportedly involved severe beating, injection of chemicals in the victims’ eyes and private parts, following which they were buried alive. The accused allegedly exhumed the dead bodies and burnt them in an attempt to destroy evidence after the police were informed.
The deceased included a couple and their eldest daughter. The younger daughter, who had witnessed the crime, was threatened to not speak up. Around seven days after the incident, the survivor, locked up in the house of one of the accused, escaped and lodged an FIR. “I am glad they have received death by hanging,” said witness Melita Sabara, who is also with the Rayagada District Child Protection Unit. “The nine accused have been sentenced to death by hanging by Additional District Judge Subhendu Kumar Pati,” said Additional Public Prosecutor Krushna Chandra Senapati.
“The sentence has to be confirmed by the (Odisha) HC,” said the counsel for the accused. The family was held responsible for ‘witchcraft’ that allegedly killed many children in their native village of Kitum.
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