Phulbani: The District Sessions Court on Tuesday awarded life imprisonment to one person and three-year imprisonment to 31 in connection with the brutal murder of a tribal of Gadamaha village under Brahmanigan police station limits in April, 2010, suspecting him of practising sorcery.
The court, in its verdict, awarded life imprisonment to prime accused Mathu Majhi and ordered three-year imprisonment with a fine of Rs 500 each to 31 persons for destroying the evidence.
Talking to OTV, government pleader of District Sessions Court, Phulbani, Anil Kumar Pradhan, said the villagers had imposed a fine of Rs 1.5 lakh on Tupi Majhi suspecting him of practising sorcery.
“On April 7, 2010, the villagers, at a meeting called up Majhi and asked them to pay the fine. But as he refused to pay, Mathu Majhi, one of the villagers, present at the meeting, attacked him with a knife and slit open his throat killing him on the spot. Soon after his death, the villagers, present at the meeting, burnt the body under a tree by pouring kerosene on it. They also threatened the family members not to disclose the matter to anyone. Though the family members, fearing their lives, did not lodge any complaint with the police, the Brahmanigan police managed to get the information and registered a case on its behalf and arrested 35 persons involved in the murder,” Pradhan informed.
On the other hand, counsel of the opposite party, Padma Charan Panda said he would challenge the verdict of the District Sessions Court in the higher court as it has convicted his clients against whom there is no evidence.