Even as the world tries to come to terms with this new reality of life, there are people who load on to the devastation with superstition, illogic, and no sense of right and wrong.
A 70-year-old priest from Odisha was arrested for allegedly beheading a man, believing that the killing will end the COVID-19 pandemic. The victim, who was a 55-year-old man, was beheaded in the premises of the temple on Wednesday night, the police said.
According to police officials, Sansari Ojha, who is a priest at Goddess Brahmani temple in Bandhahuda area of Narasinhapur block in Cuttack, claimed that he was ordered by the goddess to carry out the beheading in order to put an end to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday night, when the victim Saroj Kumar Pradhan visited the temple and was bowing before the goddess, Ojha took it upon himself to single-handedly end the global pandemic by murdering an innocent devotee. He came up from behind and rained blows on Pradhan’s neck with a scythe.
Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) of Athagarh, Alok Ranjan Ray, said that the accused priest later surrendered to the police and confessed to committing the murder.
“During interrogation, he admitted to the murder claiming it was ordered by the goddess,” said the SDPO. The murder weapon has been seized.
The police also noted that the priest had a long-standing dispute with the deceased over a mango orchard on the outskirts of the village.
As per data released by the state health department, the total number of COVID-19 infections in Odisha has reached 1,660, after 67 new cases of coronavirus were reported on Thursday.