After four days of intense negotiations, the villagers in Odisha’s Kendrapara district allowed the bodies of a mother and her pregnant daughter to be cremated this afternoon.
Pramila and her daughter Satyapriya Nath had gone missing from their home in Manpada village on September 19. Their bodies were found floating in Hansua river and a pond, respectively, the next day. Thereafter, the elder daughter of the deceased lodged an FIR with police.
Earlier, hundreds of villagers resisted all attempts of police and administration to cremate the bodies even as the corpses started decaying.
“After the post-mortem of the bodies on September 20, the family of the deceased was handed over the corpses. However, the deceased woman’s husband and other villagers did not allow the corpses to be cremated demanding that the brother of the woman as well as other people allegedly involved in the murder be arrested. The villagers finally saw reason after Sanjay Behera, the nephew of the deceased woman was arrested today,” said Tapan Nayak, inspector-in-charge of Rajnagar police station.
Nayak said delay in cremation of the corpses had turned the village into a huge cauldron of stench as flies were seen swarming over the bloated corpses. Pus and blood had started leaking out of the bodies.
“The SP as well as the BDO had tried to reason with the villagers about the necessity of cremating the bodies. But they were too stubborn,” he said.
Police said the anger of the villagers probably stemmed from the report that the woman’s daughter was found pregnant during post-mortem. The woman after marriage was staying with her own parents while her husband lived in the same village in another house.
“The villagers suspected the woman’s own brother to be behind the deaths. They alleged that the nephew of the deceased woman was in a relationship with the latter’s daughter which led to her getting pregnant. They accused the woman’s family to have killed her and her daughter and then threw the bodies separately. But the level of anger did surprise us a bit,” a police official said.