An Indian man killed 14 members of his family, including seven children, before hanging himself in one of the worst massacres in India’s history. Hasnin Anwar Warekar, 35, is alleged to have bolted the doors of one of the family homes and killed 14 members of his family by slitting their throats before hanging himself. Police found the grisly scene in the early hours of Sunday morning, after neighbors reported the sounds of screaming coming from the house in Thane, a town located near Mumbai. The screaming came from the sole survivor of the attack, Warekar’s 21-year-old sister Suviya Sojhav Barmar.
Police are baffled as to the motive for the attack. Thane is quite a close township, and many of the residents knew Hasnin Warekar personally. Most of the local papers, including the paper dna, reported the rumor that the killing was motivated by a property dispute of some kind. Shocked locals, however, do not agree, saying that Hasnin and his family were wealthy, white collar professionals, and that it was unlikely that a financial motive could be at the root of the killing. There are also unconfirmed reports that the killer sedated the family with drug-laced food before killing the 14 family members, but local police say that samples taken from the house are still being tested.
It appears that Hasnin, having returned from the office where he worked as an accountant, invited the whole family around for a “get together” on Saturday evening. According to reports from his neighbors Suviya, the sole survivor had initially excused herself from the gathering as her daughter was unwell. The neighbors said that the whole family were together in the one house by 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Police say that some time between this time and 2:00 a.m. Sunday, Hasnin Warekar bolted all the doors and killed 14 members of his family, including his parents, his sisters and his sisters’ children, some of whom were young infants. In comments reported by Al Jazeera, police spokesman Gajanan Laxman Kabdule said that Hasnin had slit their throats with a butcher or kitchen knife before committing suicide by hanging.
“The attacker, Hasnin Anwar Warekar, hung himself after slitting the throats of all other family members, including his parents.”
Kabdule was unwilling to comment on the rumors of sedation except to say that he was awaiting lab work. According to Kabdule, the sole surviving sister, Suviya, was at a nearby hospital and still too traumatised to talk to police. While there appears to be some confusion as to the exact timeline of the mass murder, police seem to be agreed on the modus. In comments reported by the Daily Mail, Ashutosh Dumbre, joint commissioner of Thane police, echoed his colleague’s assessment of the scene.
“Prima facie evidence suggests that the accused bolted all the doors of the house and murdered his family while they were asleep with a knife that we found near his body.”
Reaction in the community of Thane has been understandably shocked. A man described as Warekar’s uncle was reported as saying that Hasnin was a devout and hardworking individual. He claimed that Hasnin was frightened of the sight of blood, and that he therefore doubted whether Hasnin was the murderer. Neighbors and friends of the family described them as “happy go lucky” and “close” and said that they would never have expected anything like this from the Warekar family. It would appear that Hasnin’s father, Anwar, 65, had worked for a major chemical company and was quite senior in the local community. It is apparent that both Hasnin and his father Anwar had local reputations for religious devotion and gentleness of character. Inquiries are ongoing.
[Photo by Rajanish Kakade/AP Images]