In the sensational ‘human sacrifice’ case in Kerala that shocked the entire country, three accused were on Thursday sent to 12-day police custody for detailed interrogation and collection of evidence into the horrific crime, in which two women were brutally murdered. Kerala Police arrested the three accused – Bhagaval Singh (68), his wife Laila (59), and prime accused Mohammed Shafi (52), with the help of CCTV footage.
Speaking to reporters on solving the case, Kochi City Police Commissioner Nagaraju Chakilam said Shafi is a history sheeter and the probe team’s first clue in the case was a CCTV footage of September 26 in which a woman named Padma was seen sitting in a car along with a man identified as Shafi.
The probe to trace Padma, who went missing on the same day from Elamkulam led to the detection of the killing of another victim, Roslin, who disappeared in June.
“All we had was a CCTV visual of a lady getting into a car with Shafi. Nothing else. A police team took the scientific route, traced them to the house at Elanthoor, questioned the couple and the whole incident unfolded,” Nagaraju said.
The footage then led the police team to Bhagaval and Laila’s residence in the Pattanamthitta district. On October 9, the police recovered another footage from their immediate neighbour’s CCTV camera that showed the same car and Padma entering the house. During search, the cops found the chopped remains in the pits on the premises of the couple’s house in Elanthoor village of the district. On being interrogated, the accused couple confessed to the killing of Padma and Roselin.
About The Gruesome Case
According to police, Shafi was a pervert and the prime accused who exploited the fears of a man and his wife over their financial woes and two women were killed following torture. He took undue advantage of the concerns of Singhs over their financial problems. Shafi convinced the couple that ‘human sacrifice’ would solve their financial issues and brought them under his influence.
Bhagaval Singh was a traditional massage therapist. On news reports that the trio was engaged in ‘cannibalism,’ police said that this possibility was also being investigated, but there was no evidence to confirm it.
Commissioner Nagaraju said Shafi is a pervert and a sadist, with a mindset to cause injury, harm, and death. “He will make up any story, trap anyone,” Nagaraju said, adding that Shafi faces many cases, including theft and rape, against him. In one of the rape cases, a 75-year-old woman was raped, and was inflicted injuries on various parts of her body.
In this ‘human sacrifice’ case, the two victims had injuries in their private parts. Nagaraju further said all three accused have direct participation in both the killings, but the accused couple did not have a history of crime.
According to the police remand report, the two victims – Padma and Roselin- underwent torture. The breasts of one of them had been chopped off. The body of the other victim was cut into 56 pieces by the accused persons. The victims were tied to a cot before they were killed and the accused persons used a knife to inflict severe injuries on their private parts.
They were strangled by the trio before burying their chopped bodies in the pits on the premises of the couple’s house in Elanthoor village of Pathanamthitta district, the report said. “The accused conspired to conduct the human sacrifice with an intention to bring prosperity in the life of the second and third accused by pleasing the goddess in favor of Singh and his wife Laila,” it said.
Shafi had lured one of the women and managed to bring her to Singh’s house by offering her Rs 15,000 for sex work, it said. The other woman was persuaded by promising a whopping Rs 10 lakh to act in a porn film and brought to the crime scene, the report added.
The chopped body parts of the killed women were exhumed on October 11.
Two women, who had earned their daily bread selling lottery tickets on the streets, were allegedly sacrificed as part of black magic.
(with inputs from PTI)