As news of the shocking 'human sacrifice' murders in Kerala's Pathanamthitta broke two weeks ago, netizens were quick to flock to the Facebook profile of one of the accused, Bhagaval Singh, to get a good look at the traditional massage therapist who allegedly killed two women in cold blood with two of his accomplices – one of whom is his wife.
While some were amused by his obsession with haikus – a form of Japanese poetry – others hit the unfriend button, shocked that they were friends with him in the first place. Many others, meanwhile, lurked around to pore over his posts, trying to decipher his poetry for 'evidence' of murder.
Mohammed Shafi, Singh, and his wife Laila, who are now in police custody, were arrested for the alleged murders of Roselin, 49, and Padma, 52, in Pathanamthitta's Elanthoor, as part of a human sacrifice ritual. The dismembered bodies of the two women were dug up from the couple's backyard on 11 October, and since then, several horrific details have emerged in the case, including reports of cannibalism.
Singh's final post on Facebook was on 6 October – just days after Padma is alleged to have been murdered. Even today, his Facebook profile remains an object of amusement for many, with hundreds of users hurling a wide range of abuses, sexual remarks, and even crude 'jokes' as comments under his posts.
Interestingly, multiple fake profiles of Singh have also cropped up, attempting to 'explain' the 'hidden meaning' of his haikus and even making light of the murders.
Bhagaval Singh Impersonators
One of the comments by a Bhagaval Singh impersonator under his Facebook post read, "To all those who are commenting on this post, get ready for the next human sacrifice (haiku)." The account has the same profile picture and cover photo as Singh's original account. Another comment by a different fake profile uses explicit language against Laila, the third accused in the case.
A police official investigating the case told The Quint that they were monitoring Singh's account and that action would be taken against holders of fake accounts only if someone reports them as being offensive. "Anyone can create a fake profile. But Bhagaval Singh's original account remains inactive," he added.
Ironically, Singh was reportedly lured into committing the crime by Mohammed Shafi, who conversed with him for months on Facebook, pretending to be a woman named Sridevi. Shafi allegedly took advantage of Singh's irrational beliefs and convinced him and his wife to commit the human sacrifice of the two women for 'financial prosperity,' according to the police.
Where Does the Case Stand Now?
On Wednesday, 26 October, a magistrate court sent the three accused to 9 days of police custody to further the investigation into the murder of the trios purported first victim, Roselin. The accused will also be allowed to meet their lawyer for a period of 15 minutes while in police custody.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case is also looking into the missing organs of the two women, whose bodies were chopped up into several pieces by the accused, amid speculations of a 'human trafficking' angle in the case.
The possibility of the accused having engaged in cannibalism or feeding them to someone else is also being investigated.
You can read the details of the preliminary investigation of the case here.