Odisha: 17 get life term for burning couple to death over sorcery suspicion

A court in Odisha’s Jajpur district on Thursday sentenced 17 people to life imprisonment for burning a couple to death three years ago over suspicion that they practised sorcery.

After convicting them in the case, Jajpur Road Additional District and Sessions Judge Hrusikesh Acharya slapped a penalty of Rs 10,000 on each of the 17 people.

Several villagers barged into the house of the couple, identified as Shaila Balmuj and Sambari Balmuj, at Nimapali village in Kalinga Nagar area during the late hours of July 7, 2020, and attacked them on sorcery suspicion.

They later set the couple’s house on fire in which the man and his wife were charred to death.

The court pronounced its verdict after examining 20 witnesses and other pieces of evidence, according to the public prosecutor Rajat Kumar Rout.

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