Mohammed Shafi, the key accused in the case relating to the murder of two women as part of an occult practice, is a sexual pervert and a psychopath with criminal antecedents dating back a decade, according to the police.
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Addressing a press conference shortly after all the three accused were remanded in judicial custody, C.H. Nagaraju IPS, District Police Chief (Kochi City), said that Shafi derived sadistic pleasure from injuring and even killing the victims of his sexual perversion. He has 10-odd cases, including rape, theft, and attempt to murder, registered against him over the last decade.
“In fact, the injuries he had inflicted in the private parts of the two victims were similar to what he had done to a 75-year-old woman he was accused of raping in 2020. Whenever he decided to commit a crime, he developed relations and trapped others as partners. In this case, he had trapped the second accused Bhagaval Singh through a false social media profile, offering solutions to those in financial distress. He won the confidence of Singh and his wife Laila, over the last three years, visited their home and exploited their vulnerability into committing the human sacrifice,” said Mr. Nagaraju.
Shafi was a class XI dropout who left his house around the age of 16-17 years. He did an assortment of jobs, roamed about and lived in almost all the districts in the State. In the instant case, he had known the victims as he had kept an eye on local lottery vendors and other locals in his attempt to ensnare targets.
“He is a habitual offender and was tough to break. He put up stiff resistance and revealed nothing and we had to use scientific investigation and other techniques to eventually break him. The herculean task of rummaging through CCTV images between Kadavanthra and Thiruvalla that returned a blurred image of the victim (missing lottery vendor Padmam) entering a vehicle with him proved crucial,” said S. Sasidharan, Deputy Commissioner (law and order), Kochi city, who was credited by Mr. Nagaraju of helping detect the gruesome crime with his intuition.
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Special investigation team
Bhagaval Singh and Laila had initially paid him ₹3 lakh in cash followed by some more. The details of money transactions are being probed.
A special investigation team headed by Mr. Sasidharan, under the supervision of ADGP (Law and Order), has been formed to probe the case. The team will look into both cases registered in connection with the missing of the victims by Kadavanthra and Kalady police.
While the sister of Padmam had filed a complaint about her missing with Kadavanthra police on September 27 and the daughter of Rosli, the other victim, had filed a complaint at Kalady police on August 17. The live-in partner of Rosli hadn’t reported her going missing since June 8 and hence the delay in registering the complaint, the police said.