The shocking incident of ritual human sacrifice of two women in Kerala was reportedly the result of frustration caused by globalization and attempts by some reactionary forces to bring back hollow and outdated value systems, state minister Dr R Bindu said.
The Social Justice Minister claimed that while such incidents were happening across India, it quickly came to light in the southern state as the public is more alert and vigilant.
“You should not see it as something that only occurs in Kerala. Because the society here is more alert and vigilant, such cases quickly come to light here. In other states of the country where superstitious practices are rampant, no one notices. know of such incidents taking place there.
“India is a country with deeply rooted superstitions and customs, and its power is increasing because some people are trying to bring back old customs and customs. Therefore, it is not limited to Kerala and all over India we are now seeing an increase in the tendency to resort to violence and brutality. Some of it you see in Kerala,” she told PTI.
One of the reasons for this, she says, is ‘the frustration that globalization brings with it’.
“Globalization creates pitfalls for people who are desperately trying to make a quick buck. In such a scenario, some people are easily misled by false illusions that human sacrifices can bring them prosperity. So illusory promises are made to people to prevent such heinous crimes and scams,” said the minister.
The accused couple – Bhagaval Singh (68), a massage therapist and his wife Laila (59) – are an example of the same when they committed the crime for their financial well-being, she said.
“They wanted a little more financial stability in their lives and so they joined the main suspect – Mohammed Shafi (52) – who is a born criminal,” said the Minister of Social Justice.
Another reason for such incidents has been attempts by some “reactionary” forces to bring back “hollow” or “obsolete” value systems, she claimed.
When asked who was behind such value systems, the minister said: “Who of us is trying to revive the reactionary forces? Who is it? Very conservative, very reactionary, very outdated things are being revived or brought back by whom? “
When asked whether she meant the Sangh Parivar or RSS, Bindu said: “Yes. The waves or ripples of what they are doing are felt and seen everywhere, including Kerala, and we look at them with dread and dread.”
Kerala is a progressive state with renaissance and public movements and a high literacy rate despite such incidents happening here and being watched with serious concern, the minister said.
As a result, we are constantly fighting it, unlike other states, she added.
On how the government is fighting this problem and will continue to do so, the minister said that awareness programs are already being carried out in several districts in collaboration with various civil society organisations.
Moreover, the government was considering issuing a law to curb such superstitious practices and the same was recently announced by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, she said.
Ms Bindu went on to say that a campaign similar to the ‘no to drugs’ campaign could also be launched statewide to raise public awareness of superstitious practices.
“There is an increase in aggression among people compared to before. There is a ruthlessness among people. This is happening all over the world. A major cause of that is globalization. It also leads to an emotional disconnection from each other and that is why such brutal murders take place,” she said.
The minister said that black magic and superstitious practices existed in the past, but that they were never as cruel as in the present case.
According to the police report, the victims were not only murdered, but their bodies were also mutilated and dismembered. This, along with the decomposition of the bodies by the time they were exhumed, made accurate identification of the victims difficult and is one of the reasons the remains have not been handed over to the families.
“We are waiting for the DNA analysis report as conclusive proof of the identity of the victims. After that, the remains will be handed over to the families,” said a top police officer.
Asked about the veracity of some news reports claiming the accused is indulging in cannibalism, the officer said that although the trio confessed to the same thing during the interrogation, there was no scientific evidence yet.
The officer said the evidence gathering was proceeding at a rapid pace and police were trying to recover the victims’ personal belongings, such as jewelry and phones, which the accused allegedly discarded in a river. Recovery proved difficult because the water body was full of silt, he added.
Belgian Malinois were used to search the house in the Elanthoor area of the Pathanamthitta district, where the accused couple lived, as well as the area where the victims’ remains were discovered, to see if there were any other bodies, he said.
Although that exercise was unsuccessful, the police were actively investigating whether there were any victims other than the two – Roslin (49) and Padma (52) – who were allegedly lured to the couple’s home by Shafi with monetary promises.
Both women sold lottery tickets to make money, police said.
According to the pre-trial detention report, Roslin was persuaded by main defendant Shafi after he promised a whopping Rs 10 lakh to star in a porn movie and was taken to the crime site. It also said it was Laila who killed her.
Padma, who went missing in September, was offered Rs 15,000 for sex and lured to the couple’s home by Shafi, according to the report.
While investigating Padma’s disappearance, the police discovered Shafi’s involvement, which led them to the couple. Only after that did the police learn of Roslin’s murder in June by the trio. All three were sent to the police by a magistrate here and the order has been challenged by them in the Kerala High Court.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)