Jajpur: In a landmark verdict, the Additional District and Sessions Judge of Jajpur, Hrusikesh Acharya, has sentenced 17 individuals to life imprisonment for the 2020 murder of a couple in Jajpur district, Odisha. The victims, Shaila Balamuj and Sambari Balmuj were attacked in their Nimapali village home in Kalinganagar over suspicions of practicing sorcery.
The court, after scrutinizing 20 witnesses and various pieces of evidence, delivered the verdict. The assailants, residents of the village, not only assaulted the couple but also set their house ablaze on the night of July 7, 2020. Tragically, both Shaila Balamuj and Sambari Balmuj perished in the fire.
Prompt police action led to the arrest of 17 villagers linked to the crime. Each convict now faces a Rs 10,000 penalty in addition to the life imprisonment sentence. This decisive legal action comes as a response to a brutal case of violence rooted in superstition, marking a significant step towards justice for the victims.