Eight Orissa villagers tortured over sorcery

April 24th, 2008 - 3:47 pm ICT by admin  

Bhubaneswar, April 24 (IANS) Suspecting them to be sorcerers and responsible for sickness in the village, residents of an Orissa village beat up eight fellow villagers, used hammers to extract their teeth and made them eat human excreta. The incident occurred at Gereda village in the southern district of Ganjam, some 185 km from here, Monday but came to light after police officials visited the spot Wednesday.

Some villagers had fallen ill recently. Believing this to be due to witchcraft, people of the village asked a tantric or black magician to identify those practicing sorcery.

The tantric identified eight villagers, sub divisional police officer Jyoti Prakash Mohapatra told IANS.

A group of around 30 people took the men to a temple where they beat them, used a hammer to extract two teeth from each before subjecting them to the final ignominy of forcing them to eat human excreta, he said.

One of the victims filed a complaint with the police. On his complaint, one of the villagers involved was nabbed while the others are absconding, said Mohapatra, who went to the village.

The village has a population of about 2,000 mostly tribal people, he said.

Sorcery and witchcraft related crimes are very common in Orissa. Many people, including tribals, believe that witchcraft is the reason behind their problems.

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