As mystery unfurls: The gruesome murder that rocked Nilambur

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Kaipancheri native Shaibin Ashraf, who lodged a complaint of theft against his friends, was found to be an accused in the murder of a local physician following a year of unthinkable physical abuse. 

The visuals of physician Shaba Sharif being tortured | Screengrab: Mathrubhumi News

Nilambur: After several plot twists, a gruesome murder that took place years ago came to light. Police found that a complainant of a theft case is the key accused in a barbaric murder that happened in Nilambur two years back. Kaipancheri native Shaibin Ashraf, who lodged a complaint of theft against his friends, was found to be the mastermind hbehind the murder of a local untrained medic following a year of unthinkable physical abuse.

Police found that Shaibin had kept the local medic Shaba Sharif (60) as a hostage for a year and had assaulted him. When Shaba died of torture in October 2020, Shaibin chopped the corpse of the medic into pieces and dumped it in the Chaliyar river with the help of his manager Shihabuddin, Kaipancheri native Noushad and driver Nishad. The information regarding the murder was revealed by Shaibin’s friends, who were accused in the theft case. They confessed their involvement in the murder as well. The start of all these events can be traced back to 2019.

The Abduction

Shaibin abducted Shaba Sharif in August 2019 to obtain the secret of a medicine for haemorrhoids (piles). Shaba was a medic at a clinic in Rajiv Nagar in Mysuru. He was frequented by patients seeking treatment for piles. Shaibin, who was an industrialist abroad, had heard of Shaba’s medicines. By getting the secrets of medicine, Shaibin plotted its manufacture and trade. Shaibin’s friends approached Shaba and asked him to accompany them to see a patient in a lodge in Mysuru. They took him along on bike. Shaibin and others were waiting with a car along the way. They made him enter the car forcefully and took him to Shaibin’s house in Nilambur.

Shaibin forced Shaba to reveal the secret of his medicine. But, as Shaba refused to do so, Shaibin locked him in a room upstairs and tortured him to get the preparation of the medicine. Shaba was kept in a special room on the first floor of Shaibin’s house. Bed, AC and toilet had been arranged in this small room. CCTV cameras were also set up.

Continuous torture

Shaba was subjected to torture for almost a year. The physician died while undergoing torture in October 2020. They decided to chop him up into pieces and dump him in the Chaliyar river. They bought a knife and wooden logs from Nilambur to chop the body. The body was cut into small pieces and put into plastic covers. The covers were put in Shaibin’s luxury vehicle and dumped into the river from Seethi Haji bridge.

Fight breaks out

The relatives of Shaba Sharif had registered a complaint at a police station in Mysuru in August 2019. The police had been searching for him since then without much lead in the investigation.

Nobody knew about Shaba’s murder except for Shaibin and his friends. The accused kept their secret safe all this time.

Shaibin Ashraf

Shaibin had offered money to his friends who had helped him assault and kill Shaba. But, as Shaibin did not give the money even after two years, arguments erupted between him and his friends. They barged into Shaibin’s house and stole from there. Following this, a complaint was lodged by Shaibin against his friends at Nilambur police station on April 24. According to the complaint filed, they stole Rs 7 lakh, four mobile phones and three laptops that were kept in his room. Police arrested Sulthan Bathery native Ashraf on April 27 over the case. Ashraf is the brother of Noushad, an accused in the murder case. Noushad, his relative Cyrus and four others were accused in the theft case. Police recovered the stolen mobile phones from Ashraf’s house.

Suicide attempt in front of secretariat

After the arrest of Ashraf in the case, Noushad, Saleem and Sakkeer made a suicide threat by dousing kerosene in front of the secretariat on April 29. They claimed that Shaibin forced them to commit crimes and demanded justice from the police. Cantonment police took them into custody and handed them over to Nilambur police. The murder surfaced when all the three accused in the theft case were quizzed together. They had captured the visuals of torturing Shaba Sharif and stored those in a pen drive. It was handed over to the police.

Investigation extends to Mysuru

Nilambur police arrived in Mysuru to collect more evidence in the case and to find leads as per the statements given by the accused. They collected information regarding the missing case filed by Shaba Sharif’s family. By showing some of the visuals to Shaba Sharif’s family, police confirmed that the deceased was Shaba. With this, police took Shaibin into custody as the key accused in the case. By Tuesday night, the arrests of all three accused in the case were recorded.

The visuals of the torture inflicted upon the physician came out on Wednesday. Sujith Das IPS, Malappuram District Police Chief said that all four arrested in the case have confessed to committing the crime. He said that Shaibin’s wife and others were staying at the house where the torture took place. He also added that there may be more people connected to the case and that a detailed investigation will be led into the case.

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