A Muslim youth, who sexually assaulted 40 Hindu women after fleecing them of money, was finally arrested by the Kerala Police on Friday. 30-year-old Muhammad Shafi, a high school dropout, used to pose himself as an NRI medical practitioner by the name, Dr Satish Raghavan. He used match-making websites to target women.

What shocked the investigators is his choice of victims. When asked why he chose only Hindu girls, he said he can’t ditch girls in his community. “A devout Muslim, he thinks it is a sin to molest a Muslim girl,” says an investigator. After striking rapport with his victims and their kin, he would invite them to a five-star hotel in Bengaluru, where he takes their nude photos and sexually assault them. After this, he would physically assault and burn them with cigarette butts. While assaulting the victim, he would shout at them saying, “you are no more a virgin. I have deflowered you.”   Investigators said he never felt any remorse, as the victims were Hindus.

Meanwhile, the police are trying to downplay the incident by saying that the accused is mentally unsound. But his modus operandi suggests that he is shrewd criminal. A police official said it could be possible that Shafi is influenced by Islamic State, whose members used to rape Yezdi girls in the name of religion. “He must be thinking raping Hindu girls is a religious activity,” said the official.

A resident of Malappuram, Shafi used to target nurses or nursing students. He was active on social media and had made several fake accounts on Facebook.