Kerala 'Human Sacrifice' Case: Key Accused's Motive Was Sexual, Say Police

Police said that while they also received information about cannibalism, they were yet to find evidence to prove it.


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(Trigger Warning: The article contains explicit details of sexual offenses. Reader discretion advised.)

Mohammed Shafi, alias Rasheed, the prime accused in the shocking 'human sacrifice' double homicide in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district, derived "sadistic pleasure" out of hurting his victims, said Kochi City Police Commissioner Ch Nagaraju on Wednesday, 12 October.

The dismembered bodies of two missing women – Padma, 52, and Roselin, 49, both of whom sold lottery tickets in Ernakulam district – were allegedly found in the backyard of a married couple Bhagaval Singh and Laila, who were local medics, in Pathanamthitta's Elanthoor village on Tuesday, 11 October. The women were murdered as part of an alleged human sacrifice ritual, which was purportedly orchestrated by Shafi.

Shafi was arrested on Tuesday, 11 October. Bhagaval Singh and Laila, his accomplices, were arrested later, and all three were produced before a court in Ernakulam on Wednesday, 12 October. They have been sent on a 14-day remand and moved to Kakkanad District Jail.


How Shafi Convinced Medic Couple To Murder 2 Women

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, 12 October, Nagaraju said, "Kadavantra Police's investigation into the missing case of 52-year-old Padma, which was registered in September, led them to Mohammed Shafi. But he was refusing to give away any information. It was hard to break him. So, we used technical means to further the investigation – by tracking cell phone towers, etc. – which brought us to the medic couple in Elanthoor."

He added that after questioning, the couple confessed to killing not just Padma but also Roselin, along with Shafi, as part of an alleged human sacrifice ritual, which Shafi claimed would bring them prosperity.

Roselin went missing in Ernakulam's Kalady in June and she is suspected to be the first victim of the alleged crime.

"Shafi has studied only till Class VI but he has moved around a lot and has done all sorts of jobs. He even has a family. But he was the mastermind behind the crime; he is a pervert. He trapped Bhagaval Singh by creating a fake profile on Facebook using the name Sridevi and took advantage of his superstitious beliefs. They were in conversation with each other since 2019. He slowly convinced him to perform human sacrifice, claiming it is necessary for the couple's well-being. Then, he pretended to be a 'tantric' and murdered the two women, along with the couple."
Ch Nagaraju, Kochi City Police Commissioner

Nagaraju said that Shafi's primary motive in the case was not financial in nature, but had more to do with his "sexual perversion." "There were no major transactions between Shafi and the couple. We will investigate this further," he said.


Women's Private Parts Mutilated; Cannibalism Suspected

Shafi has a criminal history; he has about 10 cases against him, which includes a rape and attempt-to-murder case. In 2020, he allegedly raped a 75-year-old woman and mutilated her private parts in Ernakulam's Puthencruz, for which he was granted bail.

The police commissioner said that in these two murders too, the victims' private parts were mutilated; their bodies were then cut into several pieces, covered up in cloth, and buried in multiple pits used for waste disposal in the couple's backyard.

He added that the body parts of both victims were buried late in the night to avoid any suspicion. They have now been sent for a DNA test and a subsequent postmortem examination.

There were also reports that the couple even cooked the body parts of the two women and ate them "according to Shafi's instruction to complete the ritual." The police commissioner said that while they have received information about the said act of cannibalism, they were yet to gather evidence to prove the same.


What Happened?

The investigation into the case began a few weeks ago after the family of Padma, who hailed from Dharmapuri in Tamil Nadu and sold lottery tickets at Ernakulam South Railway Station, filed a complaint, stating she had been missing since 27 September, the Kadavanthra Police told The Quint on Tuesday.

"Padma's sister said she would speak to her on the phone every evening. When she stopped attending calls, the sister approached us," a police officer said.

The police added that after examining CCTV footage, they found Padma getting into a Scorpio car with another man in Ernakulam's Elamkulam area, who they later identified as Mohammed Shafi, alias Rasheed. The investigation took them to Bhagaval Singh and Laila, from whose backyard the dismembered bodies of two women were found.

As per the preliminary probe, Shafi was found responsible for the abduction and murder of the two women. He and his accomplices, Bhagaval Singh and Laila, were arrested on Tuesday.

The police said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to further investigate the case. It will probe whether the trio committed other such crimes and if there were any other victims in the case.

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Topics:  Kerala   Witchcraft   Human sacrifice 

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