Vizhinjam Santhakumari murder case: Court pronounces death sentence to accused trio including woman, son

The accused, Rafeeqa Beevi (52), her son Shafeeq (25) and her friend Al Ameen (28), were arrested by the Vizhinjam police on January 15, 2022. Photo: Special arrangement.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Neyyattinkara Additional Sessions Court on Wednesday sentenced the three accused in the 2022 Santhakumari murder case to death.
The accused, Rafeeqa Beevi (52), her son Shafeeq (25) and her friend Al Ameen (28), were arrested by the Vizhinjam police on January 15, 2022. They were the neighbours of Santhakumari and were living in a rented house.
The trio invited Santhakumari, a resident of Mulloor, to their house on January 14, 2022, and robbed her jewellery. The accused then strangled her with a shawl and hit her head with a hammer. Later they hid her dead body in the attic of their house.

Once the house owner Sreekumar and his son reached the house, after the trio told them that they were vacating it, they found blood oozing from the attic. Initially, they thought Rafeeqa Beevi was murdered, but later confirmed the deceased was Santhakumari.
They informed Vizhinjam police and the cops nabbed the suspects near Thycaud Music College by tracking their mobile phones. The trio then boarded a Kozhikode-bound private bus to escape the scene.
According to the probe team, the accused were staying at Sreekumar’s house intending to commit robbery. They also pawned a part of the jewellery they stole from Santhakumari.

Shafeeq was accused of the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl
In a subsequent investigation, the police also discovered that Shafeeq and Rafeeqa Beevi were suspects in another murder case. A year earlier, a 14-year-old girl had died under mysterious circumstances. Shafeeq allegedly killed her by hitting her head to silence her from reporting the rape. The girl's body was found inside her house in Kovalam. Initially, the police had concluded that the incident was a suicide due to her ongoing physical problems and the medicines she was taking.

However, a post-mortem revealed evidence of rape and torture, though the assailants remained unidentified at the time. Following Shafeeq’s confession in 2022, Kovalam police have reopened the investigation. At that time, Shafeeq and Rafeeqa Beevi were living in a rented house near the victim's residence.

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