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Police baffled by couple's murder

Say the double killing in tribal area could be the result of 'superstition'

  • Ajit Paul, Ranchi
  • India
  • March 6, 2012
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Police say they have no leads in identifying the killers of a married couple in Simdega diocese in Jharkhand state but suggested that widespread superstitions beliefs among the area’s tribal community could have played a role.

Residents of Jilpi-Saraipani village found the bodies of Nicholas Dungdung and his wife Mariam, both Catholics, around noon yesterday in a forest.

The slain couple’s 18-year-old son Libnus said the family had gone to sleep Sunday night and he had no clue when his parents went out or who took them out.

“My parents were very simple people. They had no enmity with anybody," he told ucanews.com.

The villagers informed the nearby Kolebira police station, but police asked a village guard to bring the bodies to the station, apparently out of fear of Maoists.

Jilpi-Saraipani, about 135 km south of Ranchi, the state capital, lies in interior forest which is under Maoist control.

The guard sought villagers’ help to convey the bodies to the police station. Police authorities then sent them for autopsy to Simdega.

The head of the Kolebira police station, identified only as Shrinivas, said identifying the killer or killers would be difficult.

“But the incident indicates that they were killed as a result of superstition that has already claimed many lives in remote villages,” he said without elaborating on why police thought that superstition was involved.
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