A 72 years old drunk Hindu priest named Sansari Ojha, decapitated a man with an axe in an attempt appease a goddess. Ojha claimed that the goddess came to him in a dream and asked him to sacrifice a human life to end the coronavirus pandemic. Investigations show that besides being drunk, he was also high from smoking marijuana when he committed the heinous crime at the shrine of the Brahmani Devi Temple under Narasinghpur police station in Cuttack.
The victim, 52 years old Saroj Kumar Pradhan, and Ojha had a long standing feud over a mango orchid in the Bandhahuda village. Both of them were sharing a room together because the victim looked after the trees at the Brahmani Devi temple, but the its access was closed due to the coronavirus. The attack took place at 1 am in the night, when an argument started between the victim and the priest. Ojha surrendered to the police the next day and appeared ‘mentally unstable’ said Ashish Kumar, the detective on the case. Athagarh sub-divisional police office, Alok Ranjan Ray told Gulf News “The priest claimed that he saw a goddess in his dream and was asked to sacrifice a human’s life to bring an end to coronavirus. Hence, to appease the goddess, he decapitated the man.”
Police reports show that both of them were heavily under the influence of marijuana at the time of the brutal attack. The victim’s body was sent for autopsy and the axe was recovered from the shrine and taken under police custody immediately.
Read more: India’s COVID-19 death toll nears 100,000
‘It’s unbelievable in 21st century that people still behave in such barbaric ways. We demand strong action against the guilty.’, social activist Satya Prakash Pati told India Today.
Coronavirus in India
According to worldometer, India has recorded 8,591,730 covid-19 infections and 1,271,371 deaths till now, while 7,959,406 have recovered. Currently, there are 505,220 active cases in the country.
The Government of India and WHO country Office for India (WCO India) are working tirelessly working together to improve their response and measures for covid-19. According to WHO’s website, these measures include ‘surveillance and contact tracing, laboratory testing, risk communications and community engagement, hospital preparedness, infection prevention and control, and implementation of containment plan at all three levels of the health system – national, state and district’. The National Public Health Surveillance Project, along with its 2000 personnel have also been working alongside the government and WHO to curb this overwhelming pandemic.
In the middle of September, the virus reached its peak in India recording more a million active cases.