Baripada, Sept 9: A tribal couple was allegedly killed in their sleep for practising witchcraft
in Mayurbhanj district, police said Sunday.
The incident took place at Kukudajodi village under Baripada Sadar Police Station area Saturday; the police said adding that the deceased couple has been identified as Purna Hembram (56) and Singha Hembram (50).
The police have arrested one person in this connection, said Swarnalata Minz, IIC Baripada Sadar Police Station.
While the mutilated body of Purna was found in a pool of blood outside their house, his wife’s body with throat slit had been recovered from the bedroom.
The incident took place when the couple was sleeping, police said.
The villagers said that the couple was staying alone as their daughters were married and stayed elsewhere. Their son, a migrant labourer who also works outside the state, had returned to the village but had gone to his father-in-law’s house Saturday.
Locals spotted the two bodies and alerted the cops who reached the village and launched a probe.
The bodies were seized and sent for autopsy. A forensic team along with sniffer dogs was pressed into service to investigate the murder.
While the precise reason for the couple’s death is yet to be ascertained, speculations have been doing rounds in the village. Many believe that the killings were pre-planned over previous enmity, while there are others who said that the gruesome murder was related to witchcraft practice.
When asked, neighbours claimed that the deceased couple maintained cordial relationships with everyone. However, rumours did round that the couple practiced sorcery.
“We suspect that the murder could be over suspicion that they practiced witchcraft. We have got some leads and the case will be cracked soon,” said Inspector-in-charge of Baripada Sadar police station, Swarnalata Minz.