Missing body parts make proof of healer’s murder difficult for Kerala police – Reuters

Express press service

MALAPPURAM: The police task force investigating the murder of Shaba Sharif, a traditional doctor based in Mysuru, faces many challenges to bring it to its logical conclusion. As Shaba’s body was cut into pieces and dumped in the Chaliyar a year and a half ago, it may not be possible for the police to recover them. Numerous social media outlets said the defendant in the case could go unpunished as the police cannot recover the body.

Legal experts disagree. Zafarullah PM, a practicing barrister at Manjeri District Court, said the missing body will not help the culprits escape their guilt. He said the police could gather several other strong pieces of evidence to prove the crime in court.

“The police could turn one of the partners of the main defendant Shaibin Ashraf into an approver. The approver’s admission before the judge will work in his favour. Additionally, they can find the weapon(s) the culprits used to cut the body. They can also use the digital evidence they have against Shaibin,” he said. He said it was illogical to compare this case with the Chekannur Maulavi case although the police were unable to recover the bodies from there as well.

“We cannot say that eight of the nine defendants in the Chekannur Maulavi case have been acquitted because the body was missing. They were released because the investigation team could not present enough evidence to link them to the murder. One person was punished even after investigators failed to find the body,” Zafarullah said.
On Thursday, the police team took into custody Thangalakath Noushad, 41, of Sultan Bathery, who allegedly assisted Shaibin, 42, in the crime, to continue the investigation. Noushad is the one who made a statement against Shaibin to the police and provided digital evidence against him.

Nilambur Police Inspector Vishnu P said Noushad would be taken to the scene of the crime – Shaibin’s house in Nilambur and Seethi Haji Bridge in Edavanna, from where the culprits dumped pieces of Shaba’s body in the Chaliyar – as part of the collection of evidence. Malappuram District Police Chief Sujith Das said others involved in the case would soon be arrested. In the meantime, there is a good chance that the investigation into Shaba’s murder will uncover more crimes committed by Shaibin and his accomplices.

Besides, Shaibin had amassed Rs 300 crore of wealth over the past ten years. “Our team will also investigate his sources of income. Other agencies like the Enforcement Branch would also conduct a detailed investigation of his wealth,” Das said.

Police will also look into the incident in which gelatin sticks were recovered from the home of a Noushad relative in Wayanad last month. It is suspected that the explosives were kept in the house to assassinate a politician. The team would also investigate the involvement of a police officer with the rank of sub-inspector who allegedly acted as a Shaibin sympathizer.

Mysterious Personality: Neighbors
People living near Shaibin’s house in Nilambur said he was a mysterious personality. “We never saw him outside. He was often seen driving home in his fancy car. He never interacted with us,” a resident said. Shaibin’s wife and a child had also lived in the house while Shaba was held hostage. Police were questioning his wife.

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