When he was just over 18 years old, Iqbal ran away from his village after he was declared insane by a local religious leader after he began to visit temples and dance like a dervish. Three years later, he has been jailed on charges of causing the death of a woman through alleged black magic.
The son of a timber merchant, Iqbal went missing from his home in Injilagere village in Kodagu district around three years ago after a jamaat leader claimed that he was insane. He would visit the Chautanikere temple and dance like a dervish. He later surfaced in Boikeri village near Virajpet, The Times of India reported.
When he first moved to Ibnivelavadi village around eight months ago, the local people had a bizarre complaint against him: Iqbal was a Muslim but he had built a temple where he performed puja.
Madikeri Rural inspector Karim Rahuthar told The News Minute that they summoned him, but he had said that he had converted to Hinduism and that they let him off as there was nothing wrong in doing puja. The Times of India reported that in May he had changed his name to Durgadatha Kalidasa Swamy.
On Wednesday, Iqbal was arrested by the Madikeri Rural police along with three other persons for allegedly killing Nandineravanda Asha, a resident of Ibnivelavadi village. The arrested include Aiyanda Dharani who was allegedly impressed by his black magic. Dharini allowed Kalidasa a room in the house she shared with her sons Pavan and Kavan.
Rahuthar told The News Minute that Asha lived along in Ibnevelavadi village while her husband Nanaiah is a security guard in Marathahalli in Bengaluru, and would visit her once a month. She has two sons, Harish who is employed in Bengaluru and Bheemaiah, an MTech student in Chennai.
Although the sequence of events still unclear, Rahuthar said it appears that Asha had stayed in the house that Iqbal was living in for three days. On the day of her death Iqbal had allegedly performed a â€śpujaâ€ť on the night of Mahalaya Amavasya to â€śfreeâ€ť her from spirit possession.
He also said that it appears that Kalidasa beat Asha to death. TOI reported that Iqbal struck blows all over her body including her private parts. Rahuthar said the post-mortem and forensic reports were expected in a weekâ€™s time.
This is likely to be the first reported incident of blackmagic in Kodagu. The accused have been remanded to judicial custody for 15 days.
(The date on which these photographs were taken remains unknown.)