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In Odisha, father-son duo beaten to death over suspicions of practising witchcraft

The father-son duo was called to a nearby forest where the villagers held a meeting before thrashing them to death. A child had died in the village a month ago and villagers suspected that the father-son duo’s witchcraft led to his death.
By Debabrata Mohanty
PUBLISHED ON JUN 13, 2021 11:30 PM IST
Luka died in the forest, while a badly injured Anak managed to escape from the spot and returned home. However, he too succumbed to his injuries at home. (GETTY IMAGES.)

A 55-year-old man and his 22-year-old son were thrashed to death by villagers who suspected them of practising witchcraft in the tribal-dominated Gajapati district of Odisha. The incident occurred on Saturday night.

According to police officials in Gajapti, Luka Dalabehera (55) and his son Anak Dalabehera (22) of Muthaguda village under the jurisdiction of Adaba police station were called out from their home on Saturday evening by a few villagers. “The father-son duo was called to a nearby forest where the villagers held a meeting before thrashing them to death. A child had died in the village a month ago and villagers suspected that the father-son duo’s witchcraft led to his death,” said sub-divisional police officer of R Udaygiri, Dilip Kumar Nayak.

Luka died in the forest, while a badly injured Anak managed to escape from the spot and returned home. However, he too succumbed to his injuries at home. The local sarpanch reported the incident to the Adaba police. “My father and brother were killed on baseless suspicions of sorcery. The police should arrest the culprits immediately and punish them,” said Luka’s daughter Ludhia.

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Police said some people in the village have been detained over their alleged involvement in the murder.

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