KL This Week: State Shocked by Human Sacrifices, Congress MLA Absconding After Charges
Image Credit: R Prakash
The suspected twin human sacrifices in the Pathanamthitta district sent shock waves across Kerala. Three people, including a couple, have been arrested and are now sent to police custody. The chief perpetrator has been identified as a psychopath with more than ten criminal cases. The demand for enacting a law to punish such crimes has been raised again.
A sitting Congress member of the Assembly has been in hiding after allegations of sexual assault. Eldhose Kunnampillil, a two-time legislator, has remained incommunicado since the case was filed.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state leadership has removed one of its official spokespersons from the position. Though the party claimed internal matters for the decision, several complaints, including fund mismanagement, have been raised against the leader.
In yet another setback to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Kerala High Court has frozen the summons issued to Dr Thomas Isaac. The former finance minister is now exempted from appearing before the ED until next Wednesday.
Two more activists of the Youth Congress have been booked in connection with the explosive attack on the AKG Centre, the state committee office of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)]. NewsClick brings a round-up of the happenings across the state this week.
STATE IN SHOCK AFTER HUMAN SACRIFICES
The revelation of double human sacrifice in Elanthoor village in the Pathanamthitta district has shocked the state. Bhagaval Singh and his wife Laila, with the help of Muhammed Shafi, have been booked for the heinous crime. The couple, believing in obtaining financial prosperity, has orchestrated the killings.
The police were searching for two women, Padmam and Rosly, both lottery ticket sellers, who were reported missing by their families from September 26 and June, respectively.
The body parts of the two women, cut into several pieces as part of the ritual, were exhumed from the backyard of the couple. CCTV footage identified Shafi taking Padman in a vehicle to Thiruvalla, which led to the questioning and revelation of the human sacrifice incident.
The couple met Shafi on Facebook through his fake account bearing the name Sreedevi for want of financial prosperity.
Meanwhile, Shafi has 10 cases filed against him, including one for raping a 75-year-old woman in 2020, theft and an attempt to murder. All three have been sent to 14 days of police custody.
The demand for introducing a law to prevent such crimes of human sacrifices and black magic has been raised again. Efforts to introduce Kerala Exploitation By Superstition (Prevention) Act, 2014 by the United Democratic Front (UDF) government did not get through. The incident, reported from the state with the highest literacy, has shocked many, hinting at creating more awareness and community participation about such beliefs.
CONGRESS MLA ON THE RUN
Eldhose Kunnampilly, the two-time legislator representing the Perumbavoor constituency, has been on the run after a case was filed on assaulting a woman. The victim, a private school teacher, initially complained of being slapped by the MLA at Kovalam.
Eldhose rejected the allegations on October 10, but the victim, while registering her statement with the magistrate, reportedly has charges of sexual harassment. The MLA remained untraceable after the case was filed. The residence in the constituency and office of Eldhose has remained closed.
The Congress leadership has expressed their inability to reach out to the MLA for an explanation. However, the legislator's wife has approached the police against the complainant. The case has been handed over to the crime branch.
The complainant has claimed that the MLA has offered Rs 30 lakhs to withdraw the case. She also accused the Vizhinjam police of delaying the complaint registration despite her continuous requests.
The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) took out rallies demanding the resignation of the MLA.
BJP REMOVES SPOKESPERSON FROM RESPONSIBILITY
The BJP Kerala state unit removed Sandeep Warrier from the capacity of the official spokesperson after the core committee meeting in Kottayam. The state president K Surendran cited internal reasons and refused to disclose details to the media.
There have been reports of allegations of election fund misappropriation by several district committees against Sandeep leading to disciplinary action. He was also found in a photograph with Shaj Kiran, who has been accused of involvement in the gold smuggling case. The photo was taken at the residence of Karnataka minister V Sunil Kumar in June 2021.
RELIEF FOR FORMER FINANCE MINISTER
The High Court of Kerala has frozen the summons issued to Isaac on allegations of violating union government norms on funding for the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).
The ED has issued summons twice asking the former finance minister to appear for enquiry in the agency's Kochi office. The court has instructed the ED to respect privacy of Isaac.
The CPI(M) has been accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Union government of using the central agencies to target the leaders and KIIFB, hindering the development of the state.
TWO ARRESTED IN AKG CENTRE ATTACK CASE
The police have arrested two more Youth Congress workers in the AKG Centre attack case. Youth Congress Thiruvananthapuram district general secretary Shahjahan and T Navya, an activist, is absconding now.
Another activist Jithin was arrested on September 22 for throwing an explosive at the AKG Centre on June 30. The scooter used by Jithin belongs to Shajahan's driver, whereas Navya has handed over the scooter to Jithin, the police said.
Earlier, Congress leaders accused the CPI(M) of staging the attack to divert attention from the Bharat Jodo Yatra. The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran MP accused left democratic front (LDF) convenor E P Jayarajan of masterminding the attack.
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