Odisha: Couple Murdered Over Suspected Witchcraft In Malkangiri, 2 Arrested

Malkangiri:    Police have arrested two persons from Pendalguda village under Malkangiri police limits in Malkangiri district of Odisha for allegedly murdering a couple on suspicion of committing witchcraft.

According to reports, Sama Madi (45) and his wife Sukuri Madi (42) of Pendalguda were found murdered on Friday.

Some locals allegedly killed the couple on suspicion over committing sorcery leading to the deaths of eight children and a youth of the same village.

Upon receiving information about the double murder police have arrested two persons of Pendalguda village and are investigating the matter.

Concerned over the rising number of deaths caused due to witch hunting in tribal pockets of Odisha, the State Government has enacted ‘The Odisha Prevention of Witch-hunting Act, 2013’ which has come into force in April 2014.

The legislation aims at prohibiting witch-hunting and other similar practices.

The penal provisions include offences such as witch-hunting, branding of a woman as a witch, and other similar practices that may cause harm or injury to any person including the persons who are involved in such practices such as the witch doctor. There is also a penal provision for repeated offences.

Even though, there are stringent punishments enshrined in this Act framed in 2013, instances of witch-hunting continue unabated due to lack of awareness, superstition, deep-rooted beliefs, etc.
The State Government in April 2017 drew up a composite action plan to prevent witchcraft in consultation with various Departments to take strong measures for curbing the crime and creating awareness among the citizens against such blind belief.

However, all these efforts seem to have gone in vain as reports of witch-hunting leading to murders continue unabated.