Thane massacre: Brothers-in-law unable to believe Hasnain Warekar could have killed his own family
As the sole survivor of the horrific massacre murder of her entire family, Sobiya Bharmal nailed her brother for the crime in her statement to the police. But she wasn’t the only one who lost her loved ones – her brothers-in-law are also trying to come to terms with the loss of their wives and children, but are still unable to believe that Hasnain Warekar could have killed his own family before his ending his life.
One of Hasnain’s brothers-in-law outside the Titan hospital on Sunday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
mid-day visited the residence of Shaukat Khan, who was married to Shabina, the eldest daughter in the Warekar family. That murderous Saturday night, Shaukat not only lost his wife of 15 years, but also their children — daughter Sadiya (16), and sons Anas (12) and Alishan (5). At his house in Khairne village in Navi Mumbai, relatives were pouring in to offer condolences as Shaukat tried to recall the events leading up to night.
He recalled receiving a call from Hasnain on Thursday night. “He said he wanted to invite Shabina and the kids to dinner on Friday. I told him he could take them if the children did not have exams going on,” said Shaukat.
He was out of town that day but returned on Friday, and he and Shabina attended their youngest child’s annual sports day in school. Sobiya also had plans to call on a relative who was unwell. So, the dinner plan was moved to Saturday, when Shabina and her sister Maria took all the kids and went to Hasnain’s house at 4 pm.
Around 11:30 pm, Shaukat tried to call Shabina, but her phone was not reachable, so he called on Hasnain’s number. “He gave the phone to Shabina and we spoke for two minutes. She said they had eaten chicken and other food, and the kids were enjoying dinner,” Shaukat said.
It was at 3:45 am that he got a call from Hasnain’s uncle, Ayaz Warekar, asking him to head to Kasarvadavli urgently. He was on his way when others called and told him about the murders. “Hasnain was a good
person; even though investigations show he had a hand in the murders, we don’t believe it. Why would anyone take so many lives? We have appealed to the police officers to make the motive and other facts of the case clear. We want to sort out these questions that are disturbing us,” said the 44-year-old Shaukat.
The Thane Cyber Cell has seized four mobile phones from the crime scene and investigators have interrogated more than 20 people, including relatives and villagers. The police are now trying to figure out why Hasnain only wanted his sisters and their kids to join the family daawat that night. An officer told this paper that Sobiya’s nephew had wanted to join as well, but Hasnain told him to come the next day with Sobiya’s husband. The cops suspect Hasnain deliberately targeted only his direct genetic family.
But Hasnain’s other brother-in-law, Arfat Fakki doesn’t think so. Arfat Fakki, who was married to the third sister Maria, lives just 50 metres from Shaukat’s house. He too lost his wife and two sons — Umar (10) and Yusuf (6).
“This was not the first time that only the women and children went for the Saturday dinner. These family daawats would be held once a month, and the women and kids would go on Saturday night, and we (the brothers-in-law) would join them for lunch on Sunday. We never doubted anything was wrong. Even now I don’t doubt Hasnain, as he was a very good person. All I know is that I lost my entire family,” he said.
Shaukat Khan confirmed that Hasnain had taken loans amounting to R25 lakh, but had made some bad investment. He also confirmed that Hasnain had not been working for three months and intended to start his own betelnut business. “He said that instead of working in some private firm, he could use his skill and education to start his own business,” said Shaukat.