Six held for torturing, extorting tribal couple

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seBaripada (Odisha):  A self-styled black magician and five others were arrested in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district on charges of assaulting a tribal couple and extorting money from them after branding the woman a witch.  According to the police, the incident took place at Kanpur village where the villagers, allegedly directed by the accused magician, tortured the couple on Monday.

The couple was tied to a tree, beaten up, their heads tonsured and paraded in a semi-nude condition by the villagers while the self-styled black magician extracted Rs one lakh from them, the victims said in an FIR.

They were later tied and locked in a room but the woman managed to escape and reported the matter to Superintendent of Police Anup Krishna.

“We were asked by the village committee to give money in order to undergo purification rituals. We paid them money after selling our land,” Banhi Murmu and his wife Anpa told Krishna.

The six persons were arrested yesterday as per the direction of the SP and were sent to jail custody for 14 days by First Class Judicial Magistrate (JMFC), Betanati, Kamalakanta Rout today.

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