Kerala human sacrifice case: Court sends accused to 9-day custody

Perumbavoor Magistrate Court in the Ernakulam district has sent all three accused Muhammed Shafi, Bhagaval Singh and Laila for police custody.
Representative image
Representative image

KOCHI: All the accused in the Kerala human sacrifice case have been sent to nine days of police custody.

Perumbavoor Magistrate Court in the Ernakulam district has sent all three accused Muhammed Shafi, Bhagaval Singh and Laila for police custody.

The officials said that police sought ten days but were allowed for only nine days.

Earlier, all three accused persons approached the Kerala High Court challenging the order of the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court of Ernakulam granting 12 days of police custody.

They sought to set aside the order of granting police custody.

They also sought permission to meet their lawyer during the time of interrogation while also seeking direction not to allow the release of the details of their confession statement through the media.

Meanwhile, Kerala High Court has dismissed the plea but granted them to meet their lawyer on every alternative day for 15 minutes, but not at the time of interrogation.

While dismissing the petition, Court observed that "the gruesome murder of two women purportedly for human sacrifice, has shocked the people of Kerala."

Court also observed that the lower court has passed the order granting custody with great care and caution and read the 22 points which were mentioned by the lower court in the order.

In the petition, they sought to set aside the order granting police custody. They also sought permission to meet their lawyer during the time of interrogation and also sought to not allow to release the details of the confession statement of the accused through the media.

Muhammed Shafi, Bhagaval Singh and Laila approached the High Court. On October 13, the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court sent all three accused to police custody till October 24.

Earlier on October 19, Kerala Police launched an extensive search operation to recover the anklet of one of the two deceased women, Padma in the human sacrifice case, according to the police.

The police conducted the search at the place shown by prime accused Muhammed Shafi at the Alappuzha-Changanssery canal in the Alappuzha district. The anklets were made of silver which was allegedly thrown away by Shafi in the canal at Ramankari in the Alappuzha district. The police conducted a search following the statement given by Shafi.

The Kochi Police Commissioner had confirmed that they are interrogating the main accused, Muhammed Shafi, in the Kerala human sacrifice case where two women were brutally killed in the name of a ritual after being lured for money.

"Prime accused Muhammed Shafi's behaviour was extremely mysterious. The investigation is proceeding with a major focus on Shafi. We are also interrogating his co-prisoners during the time when he was behind the bars in some other cases. We are also probing his financial transactions as his finances significantly rose after he was out of prison," said Kochi City Police Commissioner CH Nagaraju.

He said the process of evidence collection in Kochi is "almost completed" adding that they rely on cyber evidence which is important in this case. The police remand report of the accused mentions the shocking "human sacrifices" were suspected to have been committed as part of a ritual to obtain financial benefits.

The remains of the two deceased women--identified as Padma and Roslin-- were exhumed later from pits near the residence of Singh and Laila in the Pathanamthitta district.

On September 26, Shafi approached the 52-year-old Padma, who used to sell lottery tickets in Kochi and lured her by offering Rs 15,000 for sex work, the police remand report read.

"Then she agreed and went with Shafi to the home of Bhagaval Singh and Laila in the Pathanamthitta district. There, the accused strangled her with a plastic cord around her neck to make her unconscious. After that, Shafi mutilated Padma's private parts using a knife and slit her throat. After that, they chopped her into 56 pieces and put the mutilated body parts into buckets and buried them in a pit," the report detailed.

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