In a horrific incident reported from the Indian state of Kerala, two women were killed and their bodies were cut into small pieces in a suspected case of human sacrifice.

The two women, identified as Padmam, 52, from the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu and Rosily Varghese, 50, from the Trissur district of Kerala, were killed in Elanthoor village in an alleged ritual for prosperity. The two women were, however, killed months apart.

The police have arrested three people in connection with the case, including a self-proclaimed sorcerer. The accused, Bhagaval Singh, an ayurvedic healer, his wife Laila; and Mohammed Shafi, the sorcerer, have been sent to judicial custody for three weeks.

According to local police officials, the trio confessed to killing the women, chopping up their bodies and burying the pieces on the premises of their house in Elanthoor, Kerala.

The police found 61 packets containing body parts, according to a report in The Times of India. They are now investigating whether the accused "cooked and ate the flesh of the victims."

Shafi reportedly befriended Singh and his wife through a fake Facebook profile in 2019. He promised them financial affluence through the occult. The trio kept the victims as hostages, tortured and killed them before eventually killing them separately.

Padmam was killed in September of this year. Shafi had offered her Rs 15,000 for sex, but when she asked for the money, the accused strangled her and later cut her into 56 pieces for burial.

Rosy was killed in June by the trio. She was lured with money if she acted in a "porn film." As per local media reports, Laila beheaded Rosly and Shafi stabbed Padmam in the chest and private parts.

Cochin police commissioner CH Nagaraju said that Shafi is a "sexual pervert." He had previously been named in 10 cases, and the crimes included rape, theft, and attempted murder in the last ten years.

"He is a hardcore criminal, a psychopath. We are investigating whether there are more accused and if more such cases happened," the commissioner said. Meanwhile, the couple has denied allegations of consuming the flesh of the victims.

Police Line
Crime scene police line | Representational Image Photo: GETTY IMAGES / SCOTT OLSON