Throughout Sunday afternoon and later, officers of Thane police fumbled every time Subia Bharmar, 21, the sole survivor of the Kasarwadavli murders, asked for her six-month-old daughter Arsiya. Subia has not been told yet that not just Arsiya but 15 other family members including her parents, sisters, nieces and nephews are dead.
The sole survivor of the incident whose account is critical for investigators to piece together what exactly transpired in Hasnain Warekar’s bungalow in the wee hours of Sunday, is out of danger but still to recover from the shock.
An officer said, “She just keeps saying that her brother attacked the family. She still does not know that the family has in fact been wiped out. Doctors fear the trauma might hinder her recovery and hence have told her that the rest of the family members are recuperating in different wards.”
A woman police constable recorded Subia’s preliminary statement on Sunday in which she has confirmed that her brother Hasnain was behind the attack on her family members. “Bhai ne sab ko maara. Qurbani ke chhure se mara (Hasnain hit us all with the cleaver used to sacrifice goats),” Subia said in her statement.
Subia said she woke up just before he attacked her and managed to push him out of the ground floor bedroom and locked herself in. “I then shouted for help ‘Bhai mar raha hain, sab ko mar raha hain, koi bachao mujhe’ (my brother is attacking everyone, please save me),” she said in her statement.
Subia’s cries for help fell on a woman in the neighbourhood. She then woke her son up who managed to help Subia get out of the house through the window. “In her statement, the woman said that there was no property dispute or any fight during dinner that may have led to the incident. It just happened all of a sudden,” said an officer privy to the investigation.
The semi-conscious Subia was then rushed to Titan Hospital where her statement was recorded later in the day. Subia was married to Sojeph Bharmar two years ago. She had a daughter, Arsiya, five months back who is among the victims.
Sisters, children given quiet burial
Residents of Khairna village in Navi Mumbai, near Koparkhairne town, the locality where two sisters of Hasnain Warekar lived, were in shock. Shabina Khan and Mariya Fakki, two of Hasnain’s four sisters, lived just a lane away from each other. The women and their five children were given a quiet burial on Sunday evening.
Relatives recalled how the sisters were simple women with no dispute with their brother or their parents. “They would often go to their parents’ home on weekends. They were close-knit,” said a relative. Another relative Waseem said they do not believe Hasnain could have killed the family. “We were told that a bloodied knife was found in his hand when he was found hanging from the ceiling fan. How is that possible? He managed to tie more than five knots to the noose with a knife in one hand?” Waseem wondered.
Waseem said the sisters’ husbands were too shocked and not in a position to even think about a possible motive for the murder. He said two untoward incidents involving the family had occurred in the past. “In the first, the entire family was found poisoned but they were saved after being rushed to the hospital. A police case was registered but the baba who gave the liquid that put them to sleep was never found,” he said.
The second was an attempt to kill Anwar, Hasnain’s father, last year, Waseem said. “He worked as a property dealer. He was going on a bike with his friend when he was attacked with a chopper on his back and head by unknown motorbike-borne assailants,” he said.
Waseem said he suspected there could be outsiders who killed the family for some vested interest nobody is aware of. He said the case needs to be probed from another angle, even though a younger sister had said that ‘bhaijaan’ had killed the family. Although he admitted that Subia had said it was Hasnain who committed the crime, Waseem believed further investigations should be conducted.
Another relative said, “Anwar bhai had once told me that he owned a lot of property in Thane village where they had been living for generations. He once told me that he was to earn some big profit from all the land that was taken over by builders.”