In a suspected case of black magic, a decomposed body of a 50-year-old man has been found at his residence at Kolathoor village in Malappuram district on Wednesday. According to police, his wife and children were seen praying next to the body. A case of unnatural death has been registered.
Police identified the deceased as Vazhayil Syed, who had been working as a khateeb (a person who delivers sermon at a mosque) in the district. The man had died two-and-a-half months back, said police, adding, “The body was found on the floor of the room, which was kept locked by the family.” The family, which neighbours allege followed ‘black magic’, believed that “Syed would return to life with the performance of these rituals,” said police.
Police sources said the family, belonging to the Sunni Muslim segment, kept themselves aloof. Locals told police that since Syed had gone missing, when asked, the family told them that he is in Gulf. According to neighbours, “His wife Radiya and two teenage daughters, who were drop-outs, kept to themselves. Only, the 22-year-old son, who is a graduate, was spotted buying provisions for the house.”
Police said that the incident came to light when a relative of Syed’s wife visited their residence to invite the family for a wedding. When the family refused to open the door, the relative found something amiss and informed the police on Wednesday.
The police had to break open the house to enter and found the family praying next to the decomposed body. “The woman did not seem to be in a normal state of mind,” said police, adding that upon questioning, the family said that they believed that “he would come to life”. Police said that despite the decomposed body in the room, the family was leading a normal life inside the house.
Moorkkanad panchayat member K Shahina said local people were afraid to go Syed’s house as his wife, Radiya, was allegedly a black magic practitioner. “They had very little contact with others. Therefore, not many people noticed Syed is missing,” she said.