In a macabre crime, an Indian man allegedly stabbed 14 members of his family to death with a butcher knife after feeding them drinks laced with sedatives, and then hung himself in the early hours of Sunday morning, according to reports emerging in the media.
The aberrant nature of the crime has meant media organizations around the world, including CNN and BBC, have reported about what could arguably be described as one of the most heinous crimes perpetrated by a single suspect in the Indian subcontinent in recent times.
The body of the man, identified as 35-year-old Husnain Anwar Warekar, was found hanging with a knife in his hand at his family’s house in Thane, a suburban outskirt in the Indian city of Mumbai, said the police. One of the family members — a sister of the suspect — managed to survive the gruesome incident, and has since been admitted to a hospital, a police officer added.
But the survivor is too shocked to speak about what transpired in the family house in the late hours of Saturday night, reports Outlook.
Among the dead were Warekar’s parents, his wife, his three sisters, and seven children, the youngest being his 3-month-old daughter.
Thane’s Joint Commissioner of Police Ashutosh Dhumbre, speaking to reporters at the scene of the crime, said the Indian man had asked his four sisters to join him with their children for a “get-together” on Saturday night, which he apparently used to host quite frequently.
He then served drinks laced with sedatives to all his family-members. At around 3:00 a.m. local time on Sunday morning, the Indian man offered prayers at a nearby mosque, after which he returned to his house and slit the throats of his sleeping relatives.
A couple of hours later, neighbors heard cries emerging from Warekar’s house. A few neighbors gathered and eventually broke down a window grill, only to find out the Indian man’s 22-year-old sister, Subiya Sojef Burmal, pleading for help. The woman was immediately carried to the hospital.
Dhumbre said the police were called after neighbors had broken into the scene of the crime, in an attempt to save Burmal.
“Husnain slit the upper part of this sister’s throat, she survived the attack and screamed for help. The survivor’s in-laws, who were in the neighbouring house, heard her cries and tried opening the door, but it was locked from inside. The in-laws broke open the grill of a window on the ground floor and entered the house. It was then that the police was alerted of the incident.”
First responders described the scene of the crime with appalling detail. The floor of Warekar’s house was covered in a pool of blood, while there were dead bodies with slit throats in each of the three rooms of his house.
The motive for the crime is still not clear, and the police is depending exclusively on the Indian man’s surviving sister, Subiya, for information about the possible reasons that might have triggered such “an extreme step.”
“In our inquiry so far, no one has yet been able to give the reason for this,” said Dhumbre.
In a macabre twist to the tragic tale, a journalist covering the incident died of heart attack after witnessing the dead bodies of the victims at Civil Hospital.
The mystery surrounding the grotesque crime intensified further when neither the police, nor the media, could figure out why a man with no apparent problems — financial or otherwise — could be pushed towards committing such an atrocious crime.
The Indian man’s close friend, Jamir Patel, who had also studied with him, said he could not believe that Husnain could do something so ghastly.
“I did not expect him to do such a grave act. Something is wrong somewhere. I cannot digest that he has done such an act.”
It remains to be seen if further investigation in the case can clear some of the mystery surrounding the bizarre crime.
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