A 45-year-old tribal man was killed by a group of villagers on the suspicion that he was practising sorcery in Rayagada district, police said today. Five persons were arrested for allegedly killing the tribal man identified as Dakhina Tadingi of Chanchalagudam village, situated on Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border on Saturday night, the police said.
In past few weeks, at least three persons of the village had died for various reasons, but the villagers held Tadingi "responsible" for the deaths alleging that he had killed them through sorcery, said Additional Superintendent of Police (Rayagada), Y Jagannath Rao.
The ASP said Tadingi, a marginal farmer, was going to his paddy field when the arrested persons allegedly attacked and beat him to death before setting ablaze the body to destroy evidence. After the matter came to light on Sunday, police recovered the ashes and bones from the spot. The five villagers were arrested yesterday and during interrogation they have "confessed" to the crime, Rao said.
During investigation it was found that the deceased was not a sorcerer but only a marginal farmer, police said adding Tadingi used to perform pujas at home at times which perhaps raised suspicion among villagers.