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Odisha: Six members of a family killed for “practicing witchcraft”

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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.

(IANS)

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Cancer-Causing Chemical Found In Odisha Fish Sample

Odisha mostly depends on Andhra Pradesh to meet its demand for fish. Last year, the total fish production in Odisha was around 6.5 lakh tonne

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Indian-American researchers unleash turmeric's power to fight cancer. Pixabay

Cancer-causing chemical formalin was found in fish stocks available in the markets here, an official said on Friday.

Traces of cancer-causing formalin were found in Pomfret fish samples, collected from the Unit-IV fish market in Bhubaneswar, said Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department Secretary Vishal Gagan.

A 12-member team from the department collected samples of around nine varieties of fish including marine, freshwater, and brackish water from the market and Chilika Fresh outlets — fish retailers — on Friday.

While formalin content was found in Pomfret fish samples, Gagan said the entire stock will be destroyed if more fish tested positive.

After the Assam government banned the import of fish from Andhra Pradesh, the Odisha government on Thursday issued directions to examine the quality of fish being imported from Andhra Pradesh to detect the presence of formalin.

Verification samples at different fish markets in urban and rural areas will be taken up in order to prevent the sale of adulterated fish.
Verification samples at different fish markets in urban and rural areas will be taken up in order to prevent the sale of adulterated fish.

Formalin, a cancer-inducing chemical, is used to keep dead fish fresh and enhance their storage life.

Gagan also informed that a committee under the District Collectors will be formed to ensure that no prohibitory substances are used to preserve the stock.

“As only one out of nine samples has tested positive, we are now concentrating on collecting information from various parts of the state and will take an appropriate decision regarding a ban on fish imports,” he said.

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Verification samples at different fish markets in urban and rural areas will be taken up in order to prevent the sale of adulterated fish.

Odisha mostly depends on Andhra Pradesh to meet its demand for fish. Last year, the total fish production in Odisha was around 6.5 lakh tonne. (IANS)

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