Jharkhand occult ritual: Man beheaded for better rains and harvest
A group of occultists beheaded a 55-year-old tribal man during an alleged human sacrifice ritual for better harvest and timely rains in Jharkhand, police said on Monday.
The headless body of Thepa Kharia was recovered from his home in Kharvadih-Kadamdohar village in Gumla district, 130km west of state capital Ranchi, on Sunday.
Kharia’s family told police that he was killed by Orkas or Mudkatwa, an occultist group that buries human heads in paddy fields for better rains and harvest.
The man was alone in the house when the group entered, killed him and took away his head, police said.
Jharkhand has witnessed an extreme heat wave for the past week and temperatures have touched 47 degree Celsius in parts of the state. Experts believe there will be no respite till monsoon hits this part of India by the second week of June.
Ajay Kumar Thakur, the officer in-charge of Palkhot police station, said, “Thepa was killed in the wee hours of Sunday. He used to live alone. Not finding Thepa in the Sunday market, villagers broke open his house’s door. They found him lying in a pool of blood.”
Thakur said Kharia’s relatives were forced to lodge an FIR. “Nobody in this area dare complaint about the Orkas. Most villagers are scared of this group that roams habitats just before the monsoons,” he said.
Police have launched a hunt for occultists in the area.
Kharia’s younger brother Jatru Kharia said, “Orkas can be anyone, from farmers to tantriks. They bury the head in the field and expect that the sacrifice will yield good harvest for the community.”
Jatru said this is an age-old ritual that has not been opposed.
In 2012, a woman was sacrificed in Lohardaga by her husband for better harvest, and villagers in Gumla saved a girl from being sacrificed by occultist groups in 2013.
Last year, it was reported that a man was beheaded in Gumla by people who alleged he practiced witchcraft. Police, however, suspected it was a case of human sacrifice.
Owing to continuous rain, educational institutions in several parts of Karnataka will remain shut on Thursday. Top officials in the 4 districts of Karnataka - namely Udupi, Kodagu, Hassan and Uttara Kannada -- have declared holiday for Anganwadi schools and colleges amid the 'red alert' issued by the weather department. The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted extremely heavy rain, ranging above 204.5 mm for these 4 cities.
Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu B Chavan appealed to people not to sacrifice cattle for the Bakrid festival while warning of stern action against the offenders. The Minister emphasised the Cow Slaughter Prohibition Act has already been in force in Karnataka. Generally, during the Bakrid festival, there is a tradition of sacrifice, for which livestock such as cow, ox, calf and camels are also used, said Chavan.
Chandigarh Chandigarh administrator Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday gave in-principle approval for a synthetic running track at Sukhna Lake. UT adviser Dharam Pal, said, “The Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee had earlier given its go-ahead for the proposal. Next, the detailed plan and cost estimates will be prepared; and then, tenders will be floated for the project.” A UT official said the proposed track is part of the administration's efforts to give Sukhna Lake a major facelift.
The National Highway Authority of India has approved two over-bridges, which are likely to reduce travel time between Kalka and Zirakpur and alleviate traffic jams on the stretch by next year. NHAI has already floated tenders for the 60-m wide over-bridges, which will be constructed at a cost of ₹50 crore. It has invited bids for the “construction and site improvement of the four-lane national highway (NH-22) on the Zirakpur-Parwanoo junction.”
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