The trio was arrested based on the confession of the self-styled black magic practitioner, S Karthikeyan alias Karthik (33), who told the police that he bought the body for Rs 20,000 to use it for an ‘aghori puja’, which was performed to communicate with dead persons (their spirits).
On Saturday, forensic experts from Tiruchy confirmed that the body was that of a young woman and had been preserved for three months. Meanwhile, Karthik confessed to the cops that he got the body from the workers of a burial ground in Mylapore for Rs 20,000.
Sources said that on January 18, J Abirami (21), daughter of Jayaraman of MM Garden in Teynampet at Chennai, had committed suicide and the body was brought to the burial ground the same evening after the post-mortem. Meanwhile, Vinodkumar, one of the workers, contacted Karthik and said that a body was available and demanded Rs 20,000 for it. As Karthik agreed to the deal, the workers dug out the body on January 19 and handed it over to him.
Karthik and his wife Nazeema alias Deepika (27) were arrested on Friday.
Accused held earlier
Police sources said that Karthik was arrested on April 17, 2016, on similar charges. He practised black magic at Alathur in Perambalur near Maruthadi hills in a specially-designed hut for the purpose.
In the previous case, Karthik was arrested after some locals, who saw him using skeletons, alerted the cops. Karthik, who was later released on bail, resumed the black magic practice. Sources said he was quite famous as some prominent politicians were also his clients.
Speaking to DTNext, a senior cop said, “We will install CCTV cameras in burial grounds in Mylapore similar to the ones in Ice House. We are in touch with Perumbalur police. We will probe whether this is an isolated incident or if there were agents involved.”