2016 Witchcraft Murders : Gunupur Court Awards Death Sentence To Nine

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Rayagada: More than a year after the sorcery killing of three of a family in Rayagada district shook the State, a court today awarded death sentence to nine persons who had perpetrated the murder in barbaric fashion after suspecting them to witchcraft practitioners.

The Additional District & Sessions Judge, Gunupur, Subhendu Kuamr Pati found them guilty and pronounced capital punishment while finding it to be a rarest of rare crime.

The convicted persons, according to prosecution counsel, are Degun Sabar, Dashntu Sabar, Dalsha Sabar, Jambushu Sabar, Irru Sabar, Lakia Sabar, Bubhuna Sabar, Mallick Sabar, Podantu Sabar

The horrifying incident had occurred on September 9, 2016 at Kitung village under Talana gram panchayat under Gunupur police station jurisdiction. Ashin Sabar, his wife Ambayi and daughter Ashamani were injected with pesticides. They were buried alive after they fell unconscious. A day after the murder, the bodies were exhumed and set on fire.  Later skeletal remains were buried again.

The brutality of the crime could be gauged from the fact a minor girl was forced to witness ghastly killing of her father, mother and elder sister. Later she was held captive in the village. Later somehow, she had managed to escape from their clutches and had rushed to Putsingh police station.

Police had promptly swung into action by arresting the assailants. The gruesome sorcery killing had sparked statewide outrage then.

Lack of awareness coupled with a deep-rooted belief in witchcraft and absence of healthcare facilities have all contributed to sharp rise in witchcraft violence in the state.

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