Duck autopsy to crack ‘witchcraft’ murder case in Ranchi
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Duck autopsy to crack ‘witchcraft’ murder case in Ranchi

Police said that in a bid to gain mastery of witchcraft the accused had gone to the extent of consuming human and animal blood. A duck with a severed head along with an injured calf tethered to a wooden post was found near Devi’s body.

ranchi Updated: Dec 27, 2018 09:43 IST
Manish Raj
Manish Raj
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
witchcraft,ranchi witchcraft case,autopsy of duck
After Lohra confessed his crime besides revealing the motive, police sent the duck for post mortem at the government veterinary centre at Rahe block on Tuesday evening. (HT File)

In what could be a first of it sort in perhaps the history of cops’ tryst with criminals, the district police have got post mortem of a duck conducted in connection with a murder case.

On Monday night, police had arrested a 30-year-old man for allegedly sacrificing his mother-in-law to gain mastery of witchcraft at Rangamati village under Silli police limits, around 60 km from the state capital.

Police station officer-in-charge, Chiranjit Prasad said that the accused Falindra Lohra had sacrificed a duck besides trying to sever the neck of a buffalo calf before murdering his mother-in-law, Sakuri Devi (45).

Police said that in a bid to gain mastery of witchcraft the accused had gone to the extent of consuming human and animal blood. A duck with a severed head along with an injured calf tethered to a wooden post was found near Devi’s body.

After Lohra confessed his crime besides revealing the motive, police sent the duck for post mortem at the government veterinary centre at Rahe block on Tuesday evening.

“The autopsy was conducted to establish the sequence of events as per the accused’s confession. We do not want to leave any loopholes in collection of evidence as it could favour the accused during court proceedings,” Prasad said. The peculiar circumstances in the case had warranted post mortem of the duck, he added.

Dr Jeneviva Lakra, who conducted the post mortem, said that the duck’s head was severed with a sharp weapon. The bird was also smeared with vermillion, ash and other ritual worship items. The report would be shortly provided to the police.

Prasad claimed that this was one-of-a-kind case, where autopsy of an animal was conducted to prove the guilt of the accused.

“It has never happened before,” he claimed. Senior police officers in the state also agreed with Prasad. Ranjeet Kumar Prasad IG (Oraganised Crime) said that in his career as a police officer, spanning over two decades, he had never heard of a case where animal autopsy was conducted in connection with a murder. He said that as the case pertained to witchcraft, police had taken the correct step by conducting autopsy of the slain bird.

Veterinary officer at the state capital Dr Suman Sahay also said such case was unheard of. “Post mortem of animals are generally conducted in vetro-legal and medico-legal cases ( where FIR is registered in connection with death of the animal). In some cases of suspicious death of animals, where owners feel that the pet or cattle is poisoned, slain or killed by other means, autopsy is conducted,” he said.

First Published: Dec 27, 2018 09:43 IST