Days after the horror of the case of "human sacrifices" was unearthed in Kerala's Pathanamthitta, state police have now arrested a woman from the same district for allegedly practising occult rituals using children.
Deputy Superintendent of Police in Pathanamthitta, S Nandakumar confirmed that the accused woman identified as Shobhana alias Vasanti, was arrested on Thursday for perfoming occult rituals in which children were forced to participate.
A video of the woman performing rituals with children seated in front of her began to be circulated online following which locals protested outside her residence.
The accused woman along with her friend identified as Unnikrishnan were taken into custody by police.
Meanwhile, a special investigation team (SIT) has been formed by the Kerala Police to conduct a detailed probe into the suspected 'human sacrifice' of two women in the Pathanamthitta district. The team will be headed by S Sasidharan, Deputy Commissioner (Law and Order), Kochi City and Perumbavoor ACP Anooj Paliwal as the chief investigating officer.
The three accused, the husband-wife couple of Bhagaval Singh and Laila and Muhammed Shafi were arrested on Tuesday.
Remains of the two victims, identified as Padma and Roslin, were exhumed on October 11 from pits near the residence of Singh and Laila at Elanthoor in Pathanamthitta district.
According to a police remand report filed before a court that the shocking "human sacrifices" were suspected to have been committed as part of a ritual to obtain financial benefits.
The accused allegedly lured the victims with the promise of money and allegedly chopped up the bodies of the victims before burying them, police said.
On September 26, Shafi approached the 52-year-old Padma, who used to sell lottery tickets at 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.
Police said that it is investigating the possibility of cannibalism that the accused possibly ate the flesh of the victims.
Kochi Police Commissioner CH Nagraju addressing a press conference told reporters that Shafi, the main accused, was a pervert and has a criminal past.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)