Thane, Feb 28: A 32-year old man killed 14 members of his family, including seven children, and later hanged himself in a house here on Sunday, police said.
The gory incident took place in the city's Kasarvadavli area when assailant Hasnain Anwar Warekar slit the victims' throats with a large knife one after the other around 1.00 a.m. after lacing their food with drugs.
Though the motive behind the massacre is unclear, preliminary inquiries point towards a family dispute over some property matters.
Those killed were identified as: Anwar Warekar (father, 65), Asgari (mother, 56), Jabin (wife, 28), Mubatshira, 6, and Umera, three months old, both daughters, Shabina Shaukat Khan, 35, Maria Irfan Fakki, 28, and Batul, 30 (sisters), Anas Shaukat Khan, 12, Sadiya Shaukat Khan, 16, and Arsiya Yusuf Bharmal, five-month old (nieces), Alihasan Shaukat Khan, 5, Umer Irgan Fakki, 7, and Yusuf Irfan Khan (nephews).
The lone woman survivor, identified as his sister, Sabia Yusuf Bharmal (22), was rushed to a local hospital where her condition is described as "critical".
"Prima facie, evidence suggests that the accused bolted all the doors and windows of the house and killed his family while they slept. Later, he hung himself near a staircase in the bungalow and the knife he used was found near his body," Thane Joint Police Commissioner Ashutosh Dumbare said.
Sabia's loud screams prompted some youths in the locality to break open the doors and windows of the house and rescue her, he said.
The knife used for the murder has been seized and a forensic team has been summoned to the crime scene while the bodies have been sent for an autopsy, Dumbare added.
Warekar worked as an income tax consultant. Neighbours described him as a quiet, non-controversial and helpful person and there were no complaints of any kind against the family which enjoyed a good reputation in the locality.
Locals claimed that a couple of years ago, Warekar had allegedly attempted to poison his family and six members were rushed to a hospital. They fortunately survived.