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Witchcraft violence claims two lives in Odisha

A case under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and section-11 of the Prevention of Witch Hunting Act of 2014 has been registered in this connection.

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

The fear of witchcraft and superstition raised its ugly head once again in the state claiming two lives in Odisha’s Gajapati district on Sunday.

The locals of Muthaguda village under R.Udayagiri police station jurisdiction suspected that Luka Dalabehera and his son Anaka, practiced witchcraft and the duo cast evil spirits on the villagers. A mob comprising about a dozen persons later beat them to death, police sources said.

A case under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and section-11 of the Prevention of Witch Hunting Act of 2014 has been registered in this connection. From preliminary investigation, it is found to be a case of sorcery killing. Search is underway to arrest the assailants, said Sub Divisional Police Officer, R. Udaygiri, Dillip Kumar Nayak.

“There is no letup witch-hunting and witchcraft violence in Odisha despite the claim by the government of enacting penal measures and launching awareness campaigns to sensitise the superstition-driven people,” rationalist Debendra Sutar said.

Superstition is the root cause of sorcery practice. The practice is giving rise to violence. Apart from people being mercilessly murdered under suspicion of practicing witchcraft, there are innumerable instances of victims being brutally tortured and ostracized from the village altogether. Most of these cases go unreported and are never brought to the notice of law-enforcing agencies, he concluded.