Bhubaneswar: At least six members of a family, suspected of practicing witchcraft, were hacked to death by villagers in tribal dominated Keonjhar district of Odisha, police said on Monday.
The dead include a woman and four children. While the six family members died on the spot, two others sustained serious injuries and were hospitalised.
In a similar incident, villagers in Rayagada district on Sunday beat a man named Jagabandhu to death and then burnt him for allegedly practicing sorcery and harming them, police said.
In the Keonjhar incident, police said the six members of the family residing in Lahanda village were killed after the villagers suspected them of practicing witchcraft.
“Prima facie, it is found that the six family members have been killed with sharp weapons for practicing sorcery. We have sent the bodies for post mortem. Efforts are on to nab the accused,” said Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Badabil Ajay Pratap Swain.
He said a team has reached the spot and begun investigations.
Director General of Police Sanjeev Marik directed the crime branch to supervise the probe into the incident.
Meanwhile, all the men of the village have absconded fearing police action.