Shafi, Laila, Bhagaval Singh (screengrab)
Kochi: Two women were "brutally" murdered allegedly as a human sacrifice in black magic rituals in Kerala's Pathanamthitta within 24 hours after they went missing, a police official said on Tuesday.
Three persons including one woman were arrested who were suspected of luring and killing the women allegedly as human sacrifice in black magic rituals, according to Kochi City Police Commissioner CH Nagaraju.
"The murders were brutal, the women were killed within 24 hours after missing. The manner of killing is indescribable," Nagaraju said.
According to the official, the murders took place on June 6 and September 26.
"The murders happened within 24 hours of the two women going missing," he said.
The case was registered by Kadavanthra police in Kochi following the report of a missing woman which was filed in September.
The arrested persons were identified as one Shafi, and the husband-wife pair of Bhagaval Singh and Laila.
"The main suspect is Shafi who brought the women. His aim was money. It is being investigated whether the accused Shafi approached more women for a 'human sacrifice ritual'," Nagaraju said.
"The CCTV footage was helpful in nabbing the accused," he added.
Union minister V Muraleedharan on Tuesday hit out at the Kerala government alleging a "delayed response" by the state police, and said that a member of the CPIM was involved in the incident.
Two dismembered bodies were found buried inside the premises of a house in Pathanamthitta district, the police said.
"We think that the couple Bhagaval Singh and Laila performed human sacrifice for economic prosperity," the official said adding that CCTV footage was helpful in nabbing the accused.