Carrying the severed head of a woman he allegedly killed on suspicion of practising witchcraft, a 30-year-old man walked around 13 kilometres to reach the local police station in Odsiha’s Mayurbhanj district and surrendered on Monday, police said. Also Read - 500-year-old Temple in Odisha Submerged in Mahanadi River Found | Read Deets Here

Budhuram Singh told the police that he beheaded Champa Singh, his aunt, in the morning as he suspected that his daughter died three days ago because of black magic done by the 60-year-old woman on her.

Both Budhuram Singh and the woman lived in Nuasahi village and were tribals, Khunta Police Station inspector-in-charge Swarnalata Minz said. The accused also handed over to the police an axe used in the killing, Minz said, adding that the torso of the woman was recovered.

Champa Singh, a widow, was sleeping in the verandah of her house when Budhuram Singh allegedly dragged her out and decapitated her, police sources said. He then wrapped the severed head in a ‘gamcha’ (traditional towel) and headed for the police station.

Several people were present at the spot but nobody tried to stop Budhuram Singh from killing the wife of his maternal uncle, sources said. Police arrested Budhuram Singh and registered a murder case while the body was sent for post-mortem examination.

On an average, 60 witchcraft-related murders have taken place annually since 2010 across Odisha, mostly from its tribal belts. Of them, 12 have been reported from Mayurbhanj, sources said.