Pathanamthitta: Kerala Police sources claim that middleman Shafi alias Shihab is the main conspirator in the double murder at Pathanamthitta in the alleged human sacrifice case.
It was Shafi who convinced the couple of the benefits of human sacrifice to overcome the financial burden. Shafi found the victims and was present during the murder, chanting mantras, they say.
Shafi approached Bhagaval Singh through a fake Facebook account, ‘Sreedevi’. It is unknown at this time if he chose it based on factors or if Bhagaval was a random person he spoke to. Anyway, ‘Sreedevi’ advised Bhagaval to talk to a Shihab (Shafi himself) who is a diviner. Trusting the words of ‘Sreedevi’, Bhagaval spoke to Shihab over the phone.
He convinced Bhagaval of the impact of black magic. Shafi met the couple at their home in Elanthoor. He also convinced the couple to engage Laila in a physical relationship with him as part of his ‘pooja’. During this time, he spoke to the couple about the possibility of human sacrifice for prosperity. He assured that he would arrange the women for the sacrifice. Shafi also told them that ‘Sreedevi’ was a beneficiary of the sacrifice. ‘Sreedevi’ also confirmed this during a Facebook chat.
Shafi’s first victim was Rosly, a lottery agent in Kalady. She was offered an opportunity in the film industry and a salary of Rs 10 lakh. Rosly was tied to a cot in Bhagaval’s house on the pretext of shooting and brutally slaughtered. Shafi chanted “mantras” during the murder, according to police.
Shafi received Rs 2 lakh for the first kill.
But things have not changed for Bhagaval and Laila, as assured by the “diviner”. Shafi then told them that the curse on the family was so heavy that one more sacrifice was needed. The second victim, Padma, was drawn to Shafi in the same way. She was also a lottery agent in Kochi.
The remains of Padma and Rosly were found in dozens of rooms during the search which continued until late Tuesday evening.
Police also said Shafi was a storyteller and a defendant in a 2020 sexual assault case in Puthenkurish. The victim was a 75-year-old woman. He was released on bail in this case in February 2021. The trial is about to begin.