Bhubaneswar: The Odisha police have arrested a traditional healer and her three sons for allegedly killing a 14-year-old boy in the state’s Angul district, police said on Monday.
The deceased has been identified as Sanchit Biswal of Subarnapur village under Kiakata police station in the district. The arrested are — woman priest Ritanjali Bagh — and her three sons — Dibyaranjan, Soumyaranjan and Jyotiranjan.
According to locals, Sanchit was not keeping well and her mother Basanti took him to Mangala Kothi, a special worship place for Goddess Mangala which was run by Ritanjali Bagh, to seek blessings on July 22. Sanchit and his mother were made to sleep in separate rooms in the Kothi that night. The next morning, the boy was found missing.
The family members launched a frantic search for him. Unable to find him anywhere, Basanti lodged a missing complaint at Kiakata police station and a case was registered on July 24.
On July 28, the mutilated body of Sanchit was found hanging from a tree in Baruni forest area, which sparked off tension in the area and the people a police vehicle afire in protest. They also staged a road blockade on Kiakata-Athamallick road, which was lifted after police assurance of action in the matter.
The police have conducted a post-mortem of the body and sealed the Mangala Kothi.
“We have arrested the lady and her three sons in this case. The arrested persons have partially confessed to this crime. We are waiting for the post-mortem report and scientific examination report,” said Sudhansu Sekhar Mishra, SP, Angul.
The police will seek remand of the accused for further investigation in the murder case, he said.
When asked about the human sacrifice angle in this case, the SP said that at this stage, without any scientific evidence, it is not possible to accept or deny it.
“After analyzing the post-mortem report, details of injury marks and opinion of the doctors and cause & time of death, we can give any conclusive opinion,” he added.