Two women killed in shocking cases of human sacrifice in Kerala

October 11, 2022 09:29 pm | Updated 09:29 pm IST

Police and residents  gather on October 11, 2022 at the site where two women were murdered and buried in a horrific case of black magic and human sacrifice at Elanthoor in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala.

Police and residents gather on October 11, 2022 at the site where two women were murdered and buried in a horrific case of black magic and human sacrifice at Elanthoor in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. | Photo Credit: PTI

Two women were killed in two separate ‘ritualistic human sacrifices’ over three months by three accused persons at Elanthoor in Pathanamthitta district.

The overnight interrogation of the accused — Shafi alias Rasheed, a resident of Perumbavur in Ernakulam, and a couple, Bhagaval Singh and Laila of Elanthoor in Pathanamthitta — by Kochi city police led to the explosive revelation of the twin murders.

Padmam, a lottery vendor from Ponnurunni in Ernakulam and Rosli, a resident of Kalady near Angamaly, were the ones suspected to have been brutally murdered as part of an occult for the alleged economic wellbeing of the couple. Both women had been missing leading to registration of cases by Kadavanthra police of Kochi city and Kalady police of Ernakulam Rural respectively.

The accused were taken into custody in connection with the case registered by Kadavanthra police. It was during the interrogation that the accused confessed to have ‘sacrificed’ another woman in a similar manner months back.

“While Padmam was murdered in the last week of September, the other woman was killed in June. All three accused were involved in the brutal murder of both women and their bodies were buried side-by-side within the property of the couple. Whether there was a racket engaged in such human sacrifices and whether more people were involved in these murders remain to be investigated. The accused had confessed to the crime and we have corroborated their statements,” said C.H. Nagaraju, District Police Chief (Kochi City).

Shafi was paid for arranging the women though it’s not clear how much. Bhagaval Singh was reportedly an indigenous medicine practitioner and wasn’t doing well financially. The couple was allegedly advised to conduct human sacrifices for a change in their fortunes and Shafi encouraged it.

The jobless Shafi allegedly wooed the victims by dangling monetary benefits knowing full well about their impending fate. “Whatever they (victims) might have been told wasn’t what eventually happened to them,” said Mr. Nagaraju.

An exhumation process has been initiated to recover the bodies, which were reportedly hacked into pieces and buried. The bodies will also have to be subjected to DNA tests. The accused have been taken to the crime scene for evidence collection. Their arrests are likely to be recorded once they were brought back to Kochi late in the night.

“This is a very complicated case with many layers. It is a shocking case; not one expected to hear from Kerala,” said Mr. Nagaraju.

Dalit workers assaulted in Karnataka, locked up in Chikkamagaluru estate 

A coffee estate owner and his son allegedly assaulted Dalit women labourers and locked them up in their home at Husanehalli in Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka on October 8 in connection with the recovery of a loan.

A case was registered against Jagadish Gowda and his son Tilak at Balehonnur police station under the SC-ST Atrocities Act 2015, besides the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, on October 11, on the basis of a complaint by Arpitha, 20, one of the labourers.

Six Dalit families had been working in the estate for the last three months. They were staying in the workers’ colony on the estate. The owner had allegedly beaten up Manju, one of the workers, 15 days ago in connection with a quarrel with the neighbours. This triggered unrest among the workers. They decided not to work in the estate and leave the place. However, the owner insisted that they could leave the place only after returning the money they had borrowed from him.

On October 8, the accused allegedly scolded the workers for not returning the money and snatched their phones as well. Jagadish allegedly assaulted Arpitha as she refused to hand over her phone. Her husband, Vijay, and two other workers — Roopa and Kavitha — were also allegedly assaulted. Later, the women workers were locked up in a house in the workers’ colony.

They were released as Arpitha, who is pregnant, complained of pain. She filed a complaint after undergoing treatment in Chikkamagaluru.

IMF cuts India’s economic growth forecast to 6.8% in 2022, says country doing ‘fairly well’

The world, including India, will experience an overall slowdown in the next year owing to the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, tightening monetary conditions globally, the highest inflation in decades, and lingering effects of the pandemic, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

India is projected to grow at 6.8% in the current fiscal year, following 8.1% growth in the fiscal year that ended March 31 as per figures released in the IMF’s October 2022 World Economic Outlook: Countering the Cost-of-Living Crisis at the start of the World Bank IMF Annual Meetings here in Washington DC.  

The growth rate for this year for India has been revised downward by 0.6 percentage points relative to the IMF’s June 2022 forecast following a weaker output in the second quarter, and subdued external demand, the IMF said. The forecast for the next fiscal year remains unaltered at 6.1%. 

India has been doing fairly well in 2022 and is expected to continue growing fairly robustly in 2023,” the IMF’s chief economist, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas said at a press briefing in Washington on Tuesday morning.

Inflation in India was above the RBI’s target, Mr. Gourinchas said, adding that the fiscal and monetary policy should be on “probably be on the tightening side”. The IMF has projected 6.9% consumer price inflation this year and 5.1% next year.

The IMF expects inflation in India to return to the inflation tolerance band, 4%, in the fiscal year 2023-24, “and additional monetary tightening is going to ensure that that happens”, IMF economist Daniel Leigh said at the briefing.

For the world as a whole, growth will slow down from 6.0% in 2021 to 3.2% in 2022 and 2.7% in 2023. This is reflective of a U.S. GDP contraction in the first half of 2022, a Euro Area contraction in the second half, extended COVID-19 outbreaks in China and associated lockdown and a property sector crisis.

The U.S. is expected to grow at 1.6% this year followed by a slowing down to 1.0% growth next year. The Euro Area at 3.1% this year and 0.5% next, while China is forecast to grow at 4.4% next year, followed by a projected 3.2 % this year.

“The three largest economies, the United States, China, and the euro area will continue to stall,” Mr. Gourinchas said in a statement released before the briefing. “Overall, this year’s shocks will re-open economic wounds that were only partially healed post-pandemic. In short, the worst is yet to come and, for many people, 2023 will feel like a recession.”

There remain high downside risks to the forecasts, as per the IMF. Monetary policy that seeks to restore price stability is the starting point to mitigating these risks, the report said. 

Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit nominates Justice D.Y. Chandrachud as his successor

Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit nominated Justice D.Y. Chandrachud as his successor in a brief meeting held at the Supreme Court judges’ lounge in the presence of all the other judges of the court on October 11, 2022.

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud with Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit. File

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud with Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Chief Justice Lalit’s recommendation to the government would start the process for appointment of Justice Chandrachud as the 50th Chief Justice of India. If the government approval comes through, Justice Chandrachud would be the first second-generation Chief Justice of India. His father, Justice Y.V. Chandrachud, was the 16th Chief Justice of India and one of the longest serving ones.

Chief Justice Lalit is scheduled to retire on November 8 at the end of 74-day tenure as top judge. Justice Chandrachud is expected to be sworn in and assume charge as Chief Justice of India from November 9. He has a tenure of about two years as Chief Justice until his retirement on November 11, 2024.

Justice Chandrachud was appointed judge of the Supreme Court on May 13, 2016. He was before that the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court from October 31, 2013. Justice Chandrachud began his judicial career as a judge of the Bombay High Court on March 29, 2000 until his appointment as Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court.

Election Commission allots ‘two swords, shield’ symbol to Shinde faction of Shiv Sena

The Election Commission on Tuesday allotted the “two swords and shield” symbol to the Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led faction of the Shiv Sena for the upcoming Andheri (East) Assembly constituency byelection.

The group will be known by the name ‘Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena’, which the EC had approved on Monday, and use the symbol allotted to it till the commission decides on the dispute between the Shinde group and the faction led by Uddhav Thackeray for control of the Shiv Sena name and symbol.

The two sides were asked by the EC to submit a list of three names and symbols each by Monday. While the EC allotted the Thackeray faction the ‘flaming torch’ symbol, none of the three options given by Mr. Shinde were accepted, and his camp was asked to submit new choices by Tuesday morning.

In Brief:

Russia adds Meta to list of ‘terrorist and extremist’ organisations

Russia on Tuesday added United States tech giant Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, to a list of “terrorist and extremist” organisations, according to a database of the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring, Rosfinmonitoring. Russia in late March banned Facebook and Instagram for “carrying out extremist activities” after authorities accused Meta of tolerating “Russophobia” during Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. A Moscow court in June rejected an appeal by Meta after it was found guilty of “extremist activity” in Russia in March. In court, Meta’s lawyer at the time said Meta was not carrying out extremist activity and was against “Russophobia”.

Mulayam Singh Yadav cremated in Saifai

Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav was cremated at his native Saifai village in the Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday afternoon. The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister passed away aged 82 at a private hospital in Gurugram on Monday.  His mortal remains were brought to Saifai on Monday evening and kept at his 'kothi' where thousands descended to pay their last respects to "Netaji", as Yadav was fondly called.

Evening Wrap will return tomorrow.

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