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Bhubaneswar: As many as 29 people including 22 women have been arrested in Odisha's Ganjam district for allegedly forcing six elderly men to consume human excreta and uprooting their teeth over suspicion of witchcraft, police said on Thursday.

According to the police, the incident happened in Gopapur village on Monday night.

The victims have been identified as Jogi Das, Sania Nahak, Jogendra Nahak, Rama Nahak, Hari Nahak, and Juria Nahak. All of them have been admitted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur.

"Teeth of each victim were uprooted and they were forced to eat human excreta on Monday night. The victims were all men in their late 50s and 60s," Ganjam Superintendent of Police Brijesh Kumar Rai said.

Police said the accused convened a meeting in the village on Monday night and held the six persons responsible for the death of three women and the illness of seven others over the past six months.

The villagers suspected some sorcery practices behind the ailments and deaths.

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