A priest allegedly killed a man by beheading him at a temple near Bandhahuda under the Narasinghpur police station in Cuttack district on Wednesday night.
Later, accused Sansari Ojha (72), priest of Brahmani Dei Temple, surrendered to police following the incident.
Reports said an argument erupted between him and deceased Saroj Pradhan (52) at the temple. The matter took a violent turn as Ojha hacked Pradhan with a sharp weapon killing him on the spot.
Police have recovered the body and sent it for post-mortem. Further investigation into the incident was underway.
However, Cuttack Rural SP RB Panigrahi has refuted the incident as ‘human sacrifice’ as reported in a section of media.
Panigrahi clarified that the midnight murder of an aged person by anelderly man was out of a sudden provocation after the duo had enteredinto a scuffle under the influence of ganja.
“No, it was not a human sacrifice to check the spreading of Covid-19as reported by a section of media”, the SP said after visiting the spot at Bandha Huda village under Narasinghpur police station, about more than 100 kms from here. He said the accused Sansari and victim
Saroj had previous rivalries and were habitual ganja smokers. Theyoften pick up quarrels over stupid matters.
While Sansari was staying in the basement of a local temple after abandoning his family and house; Saroj, an unmarried youth, oftencomes to the temple late in the evening to sleep in the basement.“Last evening Sansari and Saroj entered into a quarrel after Saroj forcibly ate the dinner of the former. Enraged over it, Sansari reportedly picked up a chopper and severed the head of Saroj with asingle strike”.
Panigrahi said that soon after the murder, Sansari walked to the police station in the midnight and narrated several prevaricated stories before disclosing that he had murdered a person. Police saidSansari has been booked under murder charges and the weapon of offencehas been seized from the murder spot. The severed body parts of the deceased were sent to hospital for postmortem, the SP informed.