On the eve of the festival of Pushpuni, a double murder rocked Sambalpur district on Monday. Two youths were lynched to death by the villagers of Kudhernisha, under Sambalpur’s Dhama police station limits, after they attacked two villagers in an inebriated condition. Police registered a case and detained eight persons of the village in this connection. The bodies were handed over to their respective families after an autopsy.
The deceased were identified as Arun Meher of Babukhinda village and Abinash Das of Burla town.
Sources said Meher was a regular visitor to the house of one Tofan Pradhan of the village. Both were working in Talabira mines area. On Sunday morning, Meher along with his friend Abinash visited the house to celebrate Pushpuni, considered a unique festival that was observed in the entire western Odisha with much merry-making on Sunday.
Arun and Abinash had alcohol and went out to take a bath in the village pond. During the bath, they had a heated argument with a village youth Bira Nayak. The matter, however, was settled by the interference of others. Then in the evening, Arun and Abinash attacked Bira and his uncle when they confronted with each other in the village again. Bira threatened to take revenge of the attack.
“Bira and other villagers barged with lathis and stones to attack Arun and Abinash late in the evening. They tried to hide in a house to ward off the villagers but they were pulled out and mercilessly lynched,” said Tofan’s mother.
Police are suspecting some foul play in the incident. “Though we have not yet ascertained the exact reason behind the incident, we suspect some illegal or love relation of the deceased with someone in the village, which forced the villagers to take such a step. However, at present it is premature to draw a conclusion,” said additional SP (Sambalpur) Dilip Kumar Deo.