BHUBANESWAR: More than 15 persons have been murdered in Odisha in the last nine months over suspected witchcraft, the latest being murder of three persons of a family in Kitum village under Gunupur block of Rayagada district.
A man, his wife and daughter were injected with pesticides and when they fell unconscious, villagers set them on fire. A similar incident had occurred in August when a 70-year-old man of Chintalugida village in Gunupur block was forcefully fed pesticide and killed.
In fact, Rayagada accounts for seven sorcery-related murders this year while Ganjam and Gajapati districts have witnessed two and three such deaths respectively. Contrary to the belief that such crimes were mostly directed at women, 90 per cent of the deceased persons in these three Southern Odisha districts were men.