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  • Deccan Chronicle

CCTV footage help Kerala cops to trace out man behind human sacrifices

THIRUVNANTHAPURAM: Three persons arrested in connection with the horrific killings of two women as part of a "human sacrifice" ritual in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala were remanded in judicial custody by a local court for 14 days on Wednesday.

The police had arrested Mohammad Shafi, alias Rasheed, the mastermind; Bhagaval Singh, healer and masseur; and his wife Laila on Tuesday for the brutal murders of Roslin (40) and Padma (52). The remand report submitted in the court by the police said Shafi had lured the women by offering Rs 10 lakhs each for a role in a movie.

Gory details have emerged from police investigations. The body of Roslin was cut into 56 pieces, while Padma was cut into five pieces. The killings took place on June 8 and September 26.

The police cracked the human sacrifice case with the help of CCTV footage gathered from the areas adjoining the house of the accused couple in Elanthoor in Pathanamthitta district.

A police team from Kochi had stepped up surveillance near their house in the Elanthoor area. The Kochi police reached Elanthoor after obtaining CCTV footage that showed the victim Padma boarding a Scorpio car in Kochi.

The cops tracked Scorpio’s route and finally reached Bhagaval’s house. They contacted his neighbour and collected CCTV footage from him.

By now, the cops had obtained sufficient lead to crack the case. A police team from Kochi reached Bhagaval’s house on October 10 morning and detained the couple. After sustained questioning for over four hours, the couple admitted to the crime.

Posing as a young woman on Facebook, Shafi succeeded in building a friendship with Bhagaval and soon won his trust. With the help of a fake social media profile, Shafi even managed to convince Bhagaval and Laila that they could achieve financial prosperity by performing black magic.

The couple invited Shafi to their house. Shafi reached Bhagval's house and had sexual intercourse with Laila by convincing the couple that it was part of the ritual.

Unsuspecting Bhagaval also agreed to spend a huge amount of money to get positive results from the ritual. At this, Shafi suggested human sacrifice. The couple agreed to perform the ritual and entrusted Shafi with the task of finding the "victim".

Subsequently, Shafi approached Vadakkencherry native Roslin, who ran a lottery business. He offered her Rs 10 lakhs and lied that she would be given a role in a movie. The unsuspecting victim fell into his trap.

Shafi took Roslin along with him to Elanthoor where she was murdered in the most brutal manner. Her breasts were cut and her neck sliced, the accused told the police. The body was cut into 57 pieces and buried near the house.

There was no serious probe after Roslin went missing in June. This emboldened the accused to plan another human sacrifice to ensure quick money. Bhagaval desired prosperity at any cost, hence he agreed to spend more.

A sizable amount was handed over again. Shafi then lured Padma and trapped her by making the same promise — Rs 10 lakhs to act in the film.

Padmam was taken to Thiruvalla and brutally murdered. After nightlong rituals, the accused cut the body into five pieces and buried it. It was only after Padma's son lodged a complaint with the police that investigations began in earnest.

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