Sixteen persons were awarded life imprisonment in two different cases — the killing of a youth over past enmity in Bhubaneswar in 2012, and the murder of six members of a family in connection with witch-hunting in the Keonjhar district in 2015.
Sandeep Nanda, an MBA graduate, picked up a quarrel with a vegetable vendor in the Ghatikia area in 2012. The squabble took an ugly turn when in no time several people gathered and attacked the youth. Past enmity was said to be the prime reason behind the murderous attack. Nanda later succumbed to injuries.
“Based on the complaint of Dillip Kumar Nanda, father of the deceased, police conducted an investigation and arrested several accused. As many as 18 witnesses deposed during the murder trial from prosecution’s side, while 27 appeared for convicts’ side,” said Suresh Kumar Barik, public prosecutor, on Thursday.
Basing on the witnesses’ account, Satyaranjan Pradhan, Additional District Judge-4, sentenced 10 persons to life imprisonment. All ten life convicts belonged to the Ghatikia area of Bhubaneswar, said Mr. Barik.
Similarly, Dolagobinda Barik, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Champua, on Thursday directed six persons to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life after convicting them in the killing of six persons of a family in the Lahanda village under the Joda Police Station in 2015. Two members survived the attack and their testimonies proved crucial in the murder trial.
Another murder accused in the case Pandiri Munda, a woman, was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for three years and six months. The convicts had attacked the family, suspecting them to be involved in witchcraft.