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Odisha priest beheads man in temple believing it will end coronavirus pandemic

70-year-old Sansari Ojha told the police that the goddess told him to behead the man in order to end the coronavirus pandemic

May 28, 2020 / 06:15 PM IST

Even as scientists try to find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, an Odisha priest believed beheading a man was the solution to the crisis.

Odisha police arrested a 70-year-old priest for allegedly beheading a man believing that the sacrifice will end the pandemic.

“The victim, 55-year-old Saroj Kumar Pradhan, was beheaded on the temple premises on Wednesday night,” the police said, reported Hindustan Times.

When Pradhan visited the temple on Wednesday night and was bowing before the goddess, the priest struck his head with a scythe from behind.

The accused, Sansari Ojha, is a priest at Goddess Brahmani temple in Narasinhapur block in Cuttack. Ojha told the police that the goddess told him to behead the man in order to end the pandemic.


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Meanwhile, Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Athagarh, Alok Ranjan Ray, said that Ojha surrendered to the police and confessed to the murder.

“During interrogation, he admitted to killing Pradhan. He claimed that the killing was ordered by the goddess,” said Ray, adding that the murder weapon has been seized by the police.

According to the police, there was a long-standing dispute between the accused and the victim regarding a mango orchard on the outskirts of the village.

As many as 67 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Odisha in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of such cases to 1,660 in the state, a health department official said on Thursday. The number of active cases in the state now stands at 841, while 812 patients have so far recovered from the disease. Seven people have died due to COVID-19 in the state.

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first published: May 28, 2020 06:15 pm

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