Thane mass murder: How family feast turned into massacre

Feb 29, 2016, 13:02 IST | Faisal Tandel

A 35-year-old called his entire family for a weekend feast and then drugged and butchered all but one of them, finally taking his own life as well

On Sunday, a Thane town woke up to the shocking news that one of its oldest feudal families had been slaughtered by their only son. What was more horrific was the manner in which he went about the massacre — he invited them to a family daawat, drugged them and slit their throats. He didn’t even spare his own wife or his two daughters, one of whom was born just four months ago.

Thane police at the spot where Hasnain Warekar slaughtered his family members
Thane police at the spot where Hasnain Warekar slaughtered his family members

The family hails from the Warekar clan — long-time landlords of Kasarvadavali, where they have been settled for over a century. It was their custom for each of them to hold weekend family feasts at their houses, turn by turn. This Saturday it was the turn of 35-year old Hasnain Warekar, the only son among five siblings, who worked as an assistant to a Chartered Accountant at a Navi Mumbai firm, earning Rs 80,000 a month.

Survivor Sobiya Bharmal’s husband (face covered) collapsed at the hospital. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Survivor Sobiya Bharmal’s husband (face covered) collapsed at the hospital. Pics/Datta Kumbhar

He invited three of his sisters and their kids for dinner on Saturday night to his ground-plus-one bungalow in Kasarvadavali village, where he lived with his parents, one sister and his wife and kids. It was only at 3.30 am, that neighbours heard screams from his house and realised something was wrong.

By the time they got to the house, Hasnain had already murdered 14 family members and hanged himself. There was only one survivor, the youngest sister who had locked herself into a room and was yelling for help.

When the police arrived around 4 am, they broke down the doors to the house and saw blood everywhere — on the floor, on the walls, in the kitchen. 14 family members were found dead with their throats slit, while Hasnain was found hanging by the staircase with a knife in his hand.

As the news spread, the house was crawling with officials from the Kasarvadavali police, Crime Branch and the Special Branch, including fingerprint experts and forensic experts. Even Thane Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh was at the spot, but no one had a clue why it had happened.

DCP (Wagle estate division) VB Chandanshive said, “Primary investigations revealed that the accused, Hasnain, used a sharp knife to slit the throats of all 15 members, of whom one escaped with injuries.

The incident took place after 2 am; he had invited them home for dinner. It might have been planned in advance; we suspect he had spiked their drinks and then slit their throats, since there wasn’t even a sound as he killed 14 people. We have sent the food samples for forensic testing and didn’t find any suicide note. The motive behind the murder is unknown.”

At the spot
When mid-day visited the Kasarvadavali village near Ghodbunder road, one question resonated through the locals — How could Hasnain do this? From shopkeepers to auto rickshaw drivers to kids playing on the street, people were thronging the Warekar home to get a glimpse of the murder scene and learn more. A senior police officer said it was the first time they had seen such a brutal killing.

The locals were also curious to learn more about the Warekar family, who were considered a peaceful and charitable lot but rarely mixed with the rest of the community. “The family was quite introverted and did not mix with others frequently. All the members from the family are well educated and had built a good reputation in society,” said a police officer.

Others remember him as a shy, religious man who shared a close bond with his family. “The bonding between him and his sisters was very close. They would all treat each other to meals on holidays. On Friday, Hasnain had asked all his sisters to visit his house, and saw them having dinner last night. On Sunday morning, we were shocked to see them dead,” said Hasnain’s uncle, Ayaz Warekar.

“Every Saturday and Sunday, Hasnain’s sisters would visit his house. He was a very nice person and would always help us. He was also regular in his prayers; he would pray five times a day,” added Akib Warekar, a cousin who resides in the neighbouring house. He also mentioned that Hasnain was a fan of the TV show Crime Patrol.

A neighbour, who is an advocate, said, “Hasnain had some psychiatric disorder and was undergoing treatment and would often visit a godman.”

Father-in-law devastated
For no one was it a bigger shock than Hasnain’s father-in-law, who was still rejoicing the birth of his second granddaughter four months ago. “My daughter had just delivered a baby a few months ago and was living with us. She had returned to Hasnain’s house just 15 days ago. The police should do a proper investigation so that the motive behind the brutal killing is revealed,” said Hasnain’s father-in-law Safiyan Jalil Patel.

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