The arrested include the main accused, a contractor. Three others have also been detained for questioning in the case, a senior police officer said.
The crime took place on a roadside in Bolangir district Sunday night. However, it came to light only the next day after the victims rushed to the government hospital at Bhabanipatna in neighbouring Kalahandi district, about 420 km from Bhubaneswar, on their own.
The crime took place on a roadside in Bolangir district Sunday night.
Police said a local labour contractor paid about Rs.14,000 each in advance to 12 workers from Jaipatna area of Kalahandi district about a fortnight ago for some labour work in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
But instead of taking them to the promised destination, the workers were being taken to Raipur to work at a brick kiln. The workers refused to work in Raipur and ten of the 12 workers fled, according to police.
Angry at the escape of the workers, the contractor and his henchmen allegedly tried to bring the remaining two workers in a vehicle to their respective homes in Kalahandi district to recover their money given in advance.
On their way, the contractor and his henchmen consumed liquor and chopped off the right hands of the two workers, police said.
The victims were identified as Nilambara Dhangda Majhi, 35, and Pialu Dhangada Majhi, 30.
Odisha's western districts of Kalahandi, Koraput and Bolangir are considered to be some of the economically most backward areas in the country. Every year, thousands of residents migrate in search of jobs.