Keonjhar: A local court Monday sentenced three persons to life imprisonment after convicting them of the murder of a couple on the suspicion of practising black magic in 2014.
This is the first major judgment to be pronounced during Covid-19 restrictions as the functioning of lower courts has been restricted.
Hearing the case via video conferencing, Additional District and Sessions Judge Lokanath Sahu convicted three of the 12 accused under Section 302 and 450 of the IPC and awarded life imprisonment to them. A fine of Rs 15,000 each was also slapped on the convicts.
The three convicts are Basant Dehury, Goutam Penthei and Mitu Mallick. The fine to be collected will have to be delivered to the victims’ daughter, the judge observed while pronouncing the order.
However, the judge acquitted nine others in this case for want of evidence, informed Keonjhar Additional Public Prosecutor Prafulla Kumar Patra. Advocate Suraj Mohapatra said that the ADJ has also ordered to provide compensation to the survivors of the bereaved family under the Victim Compensation Act of the government.
The incident occurred in Saharpur under Bansapal block in Keonjhar district, October 9, 2014. On the fateful night, the convicts dragged the couple Jemamani Dehuri and her husband Rajendra Dehury out of their house and beheaded them with sharp-edged weapons on the suspicion that the latter practised black magic. The couple’s daughter Puja Dehuri sustained critical injuries during the incident while trying to rescue her parents.
Nayakote police registered case and arrested 12 persons.