By Mohammad Suffian
A 14-year-old Christian boy was allegedly crushed to death with stone by a group of people in Odisha’s Malkangiri.
The incident took place at Kenduguda village in Naxal-infested Malkangiri district of Odisha.
The minor’s body was allegedly chopped into pieces by the accused and later they buried the body parts before fleeing from the spot.
Police sources said the killing was due to suspect of practising witchcraft.
On June 5, a missing complaint was filed in Malkangiri Police station by the victim’s brother. The father of the victim had filed an FIR after his son went missing.
After receiving a complaint, Malkangiri Police SP Rishikesh Khillar said: “The police reached the spot and recovered the buried body”.
As per the FIR, the victim and his family including his father had adopted Christianity three years ago. Since then, a few of the villagers have been harassing them.
The victim’s family members alleged that few villagers identified as Deba Madkami, Budra Muchaki, Aaita Kabasi, Rabu Madi and others picked up the minor and his two other relatives on the pretext to attend a meeting in the jungle at 11.00 pm on June 4.
The accused attacked the victim and his relatives after reaching a deserted place. While the other two boys escaped, the victim was caught off guard and fell on the ground after a tussle.
The victim failed in his attempt to escape and was killed by the accused.
The accused later chopped his body into pieces and buried his body parts.
“On the intervening night of June 4, a few villagers of a group ganged up with a handful of religious fanatics, who were not a part of their village, and attempted to kidnap Christians,” Pastor Kosha Mosaki of Kalimela said.
The police detained few suspects and said the “religious goons” later accepted their crime.
However, police sources said as many as 17 villagers died in Kenduguda village for an “unknown disease” in last three months.
“At least 22 cases of Christian Persecution have been reported in Odisha, including murder, were recorded in 2019. Eight cases including the latest incident have been recorded since January 2020 till date,” Father Dibya said.
“In Malkangiri district, 14 religion-based killings of Christians in a span of 2 to 3 years. These statistics rank Odisha at number 10 among the list of hostile states towards Christians in India,” Father Dibya said.
“Christians in this village have been facing many threats and are being continually harassed by religious fanatics,” Pastor Kosha Mosaki said. “He was earlier attacked in February this year. I have made 4 complaints at the Malkangiri police Station regarding these attacks.”
This story first appeared on indiatoday.in