In a shocking case, two Kerala women, who were reported to be missing, were killed by a couple in a suspected case of human sacrifice in Thiruvala in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district, police said on Tuesday.
Kochi City Police Commissioner C.H. Nagaraju confirmed that two women were killed and buried.
"This was done as part of a ritualistic human sacrifice. The couple was taken into custody on the statement of Shihab and all the three are now being taken to the house of the couple. The man is a vadiyar (traditional physician) and this is a very complicated case and there are several layers in the case.
"The body of the lady who disappeared last month will be exhumed and will be send for forensic experts. The motive of the crime has been confessed as human sacrifice and we got it from the statement of the couple and it was done for financial betterment," said Nagaraju.
"The motive of the crime has been confessed as human sacrifice, and we got it from the statement of the couple, and it was done for financial betterment," said Nagaraju.
The couple, identified as Bhagaval Singh and his wife Laila, used to run a massage centre near Aranmula in Pathanamithitta district in their home.
The police probe team had been maintaining a stoic silence about the case.
Earlier, Nagaraju had said that this was not a normal case. "This is a sensational case and we need more time and I will be able to tell you ... as the probe team is presently on the job," said Nagaraju.
It all began when the Ernakulam police started a probe after a 50-year-old woman went missing on September 27.
After tracing the mobile call tower to Thiruvala, the police found that the woman was in touch with Shihab, an agent.
Likewise, prior to September 27, another woman, also in her 50's, went missing from the same area at Ernakulam.
Here, too, the mobile call tower locations and the calls made by the missing woman were traced to Shihab.
The police first took Shihab into custody and then the couple was also rounded up.
The probe team was now trying to recover the bodies of the two missing women.
As the news came out, the locals and the couple's neighbours were shocked.
"I have known him for the past 50 years and none had a doubt of his dealings as a lot of people used to come to their house for massages. None had any doubt about this man. It was yesterday I saw a police vehicle in front of their home. After some time, the couple was taken away in the police vehicle," said the local.