A 35-year-old man is thought to have killed more than a dozen relatives and himself in the Indian town of Thane, near Mumbai. Local media have alleged that a property dispute caused the accountant to snap.
A man was suspected of murdering 14 of his relatives in the suburbs of Mumbai before hanging himself, police officials said early Sunday. The family members of Hasnin Warekar, seven of whom were children, had allegedly gathered at their home in the town of Thane for a family function before they were killed with a butcher's knife.
35-year-old Warekar allegedly laced everyone's evening meal with a sedative, though police told the press it was too early to confirm this claim.
"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," said Ashutosh Dumbre, co-commissioner of the Thane police force.
In a statement to French news agency AFP, a police spokesman from Thane elaborated that two of the deceased were Warekar's parents, and that the sole survivor of the attack was the suspect's younger sister.
"We still haven't been able to speak with the attacker's 21-year-old sister, the lone survivor of the attack, who is in deep trauma at a city hospital," the spokesman said, adding that the details of the violence "are still sketchy."
Indian media reported that Warekar was an accountant by profession, and suggested that a property dispute had motivated the killings - though Dumbre insisted it was too soon to tell what had caused the attack.
"He worked with a private company in Mumbai. There were no known financial troubles or disputes and now we are hoping that the lone survivor can tell us something about the trigger," he told the broadcaster ABP.
es/ (AFP, dpa)