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Odisha: Priest allegedly performs ‘human sacrifice’ to appease gods, ward off coronavirus

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 28 May 2020, 17:09 IST

A 72-year-old priest allegedly performs human sacrifice in order to appease the gods and ward off coronavirus pandemic in Odisha’s Cuttack. The priest cut off the head of a local youth inside the temple to perform rituals,

The incident happened at a temple near Bandhahuda under the jurisdiction of Narasinghpur police station in Cuttack on Wednesday.

The accused priest (Sansari Ojha) is the priest of Bandha Maa Budha Brahmani Dei Temple. He later gave himself up to the police on Wednesday as soon as committing the crime.

The victim has been identified as Saroj Kumar Pradhan (52). As per the accused, an argument began between him and the victim at the temple over the sacrifice.

As argument worsened, Ojha hacked him to death with a sharp weapon. The man died on the spot.

During interrogation, the priest admitted that he committed the murder after receiving the orders from god in his dream in which he saw that human sacrifice will drive away the pandemic.

Police have seized the murder weapon (axe) and have sent the body for post-mortem. Investigation in the case is underway.

Locals at Bandhahuda village stated that the priest had a long-standing dispute with the deceased over a mango orchard on the periphery of the village.

DIG Central Range Ashish Kumar Singh told India Today TV, “Preliminary investigation reveals the accused was heavily drunk at the time of incident. The next morning when he came back to his senses he surrendered and accepted the crime.”

The priest also stated that he committed the crime after he received an order from the godess in his dream and that human sacrifice will ward off coronavirus. According to the police the priest seems mentally ill.

Social activist Satya Prakash Pati stated that, “It’s unbelievable in 21st century that people still behave in such barbaric ways. We demand strong action against the guilty.”

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First published: 28 May 2020, 17:09 IST