Elanthoor infamous for witchcraft, 4-year-old girl was killed 25 years ago
While Panicker was living with Sukumari, he fell in love with a woman called Seena from Cherthala in Alappuzha.
PATHANAMTHITTA: The murder of two women in the name of black magic is not the first such incident in Elanthoor. The village had witnessed the death of a four-year-old girl following torture in the name of black magic around 25 years ago. An ayurveda doctor and his lover brutally tortured and burnt the former’s four-year-old daughter using cigarette butts. The child succumbed to her injuries after some days in July 1997. The crime was committed by Sasiraja Panicker and his lover Seena at Pookkode in Elanthoor. V K Mangalanandan, a rubber tapping worker, was a major witness in the case.
“Sasiraja Panicker’s first wife was Ponnamma and she was also an ayurveda doctor. She left Panicker with their three children following his brutal physical torture,” 65-year-old Mangalanandan told TNIE. Panicker found enjoyment in torturing Ponnamma and children forcing her to leave the house.
“After that, he married another woman, Sukumari, who gave birth to a baby girl. Though his first wife returned home and started living with Panicker and Sukumari, he continued torturing them. Hence, she again fled with her children and never returned,” he said.
While Panicker was living with Sukumari, he fell in love with a woman called Seena from Cherthala in Alappuzha. He brought Seena home one day and told Sukumari that she had magical powers and she would perform poojas for their family’s prosperity.
“In a bid to get rid of the child, Seena cooked up a story telling Panicker that a ghost had entered the girl’s body and if they performed black magic, he would get a treasure and the ghost could be exorcised from the girl. Believing her, Panicker and Seena started physically torturing the girl.
They burnt various parts of the girl’s body with cigarette butts. I had seen Seena beating up the child brutally. I informed Panicker’s relatives about this. Around 30 days later, the girl succumbed to her injuries. On coming to know of her death, I alerted the Aranmula police and the gruesome details came to light,” added Mangalanandan.
It led to the arrest of Panicker, Seena and Sukumari. Panicker, who was sentenced to life term, died around one-and-a-half months ago in Thiruvanathapuram Central Jail and was cremated at Santhi Kavadam, said Mangalanandan.