KOCHI: Mohammed Shafi, the prime accused in the human sacrifice case in which two women were allegedly murdered in a house at Elanthoor in Pathanamthitta District, is a pervert and the mastermind, police said on Wednesday.
A history-sheeter, Shafi had used the irrational fear of the accused couple for black magic and created a pretext for human sacrifice to settle their financial issues and bring prosperity in their life, Ernakulam City police commissioner, C Nagaraju said.
A local court here today remanded the trio to 14 days' judicial custody after the police team produced them before it with a detailed remand report on the manner of gruesome murder.
On Tuesday, police arrested the trio -- Bhagaval Singh and his wife Laila and their associate Muhammad Shafi - for allegedly killing the women.
The case pertains to the missing cases of one Padma and Roslin who disappeared on two different dates from Elamkulam and Chalakudy respectively.
Nagaraju said the crime came to light during a probe to find Padma who went missing on September 26 from Elamkulam near here.
At a press meet, the police official said Shafi was initially reluctant to cooperate with the police, but when confronted with various pieces of evidence including the statement of the accused couple, he broke down.
Later, the details of Roslin's death also came out. She went missing in June, he said.
"All we had was a CCTV visual of a lady getting in a car with Shafi. Nothing else. Police team took the scientific route, traced them to the house at Elanthoor, questioned the couple and the whole incident unfolded," Nagaraju said.
The officer said the prime accused is a pervert involved in sadistic pleasure and all three accused had directly participated in the murder.
Singh got in touch with a fake profile on Facebook, 'Sreedevi', created by Shafi in 2019.
"Shafi met the couple as someone sent by 'Sreedevi'. He will make up any kind of story, trap anyone and even in this case, he made a fake profile and trapped Singh," Nagaraju said.
The police said they were analysing their Facebook details. He said in the Kadavanthra case, involving Padma, strangulation and gagging were involved before killing her.
However, in the Roslin case, she was murdered on the cot itself, police said.
The officer mentioned an earlier case against Shafi in which he raped a 75-year-old and injured her with a knife in various parts of her body.
"In the recent crime, the victims were injured in private parts. Basically he is a pervert involved in sadistic pleasure... causing injury, harm and death...The couple were under his influence. There are at least 10 cases against him in the last 15 years," he said.
Asked about news reports that the trio was engaged in cannibalism, Nagaraju said that possibility was also being investigated but there was no evidence confirming it.
He said the prime accused manipulated the vulnerability of the couple and his main intention was not money, but sexual pleasure and sadism.
The Commissioner said both the murders happened after five in the evening and was also probing the possibility of involvement of any other persons in the incident.
Nagaraju congratulated the DCP (law and order), S Sasidharan, who was instrumental in identifying the crime and connecting the dots leading to the accused.
The two women, who earned their daily bread by selling lottery tickets, were allegedly sacrificed by the accused to settle the financial issues of the couple and bring prosperity in their life, police said.
The chopped body parts of the deceased were exhumed from the premises of the couple's house at Elanthoor village in Pathanamthitta on Tuesday.