Earlier this month, a shocking case of human sacrifice from India’s most literate state has come to light. Reportedly, Roslin Varghese and Padmam were allegedly tortured and murdered by three suspects named Muhammed Shafi (52), traditional massage therapist Bhagaval Singh (68), and his wife Laila (59), to bring financial prosperity to the couple. According to the Police, Roslin Varghese and Padmam were murdered in June and September, respectively. The police arrested the three accused now sent into Police custody for 12 days.
The police said that the main accused, Muhammed Shafi, came in contact with massage therapist Bhagaval Singh through Facebook. Shafi, who claimed to have supernatural powers, had convinced the couple that to prosper financially, they would have to carry out ‘ritualistic sacrifices'. The police added that Shafi lured the victims by promising them money and took them to Bhagaval Singh’s house in Elanthoor of Kerala. Bhagaval’s house was the place where the three suspects murdered the victims.
The bodies of both victims were recovered from Bhagaval’s house. After the initial investigation, it was revealed that the victims' bodies were cut into pieces and sprinkled with salt before burying them in different pits. The police also discovered that an accused testified that they ate the victims' flesh after the sacrifice as part of the ritual.
Police Commissioner CH Nagaraju told the reporters that the main accused, Mohammed Shafi, had worked as a helper in a mortuary around 20 years back. Now, it is presumed that he might have used his experience in the morgue to cut the victims' bodies. The body of one victim was cut into 56 pieces. The forensic experts had raised their doubts after looking at the victim’s body that an ordinary person could not have chopped the human body in such a manner without any experience.
Mohammed Shafi, the main accused, is a serial offender. He has about 10 cases registered against him, including severe cases like rape and attempts to murder. He allegedly raped and mutilated a 75-year-old woman in 2020 and was out on bail in that case.
The police have decided to reinvestigate all the cases of missing women in the Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala in the last five years. The relatives of missing women in that area are also approaching the authorities with the fear that Mohammed Shafi might have been behind their disappearances as well.
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