A two-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl were slaughtered and their mother was left with her throat slit in Srinagar early on Wednesday.
Iftikhar Ahmad Lone,a cleric,claimed that he found Hashim and Aaliya and his wife Naseema,40,in a pool of blood when he returned from the neighbourhood mosque after dawn prayers. Naseema is battling for life in Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital.
The incident happened at the time of Sehri (the meal eaten by fasting Muslim before dawn during Ramzan). We have begun investigations, SSP,Srinagar,Ashiq Hussain Bukhari. I think the woman will survive and will help in investigations. The police have detained Lone for questioning.
Sources said the police were probing whether the murders were a result of some family feud.
Lone hails from Gurez in north Kashmirs Bandipore and has been leading prayers at the mosque for the past three months. He and his family lived near the mosque. And since the start of Ramzan,another cleric who lead Taraweeh (night prayers) was staying with him. He too has been detained for questioning.
After morning prayers,we went to sleep but were woken up by noise, said Javeed Ahmad,who lives nearby. We came out and saw the throat-slit bodies of two children and a woman. Then,the police came and took them to hospital.
Forensic experts have examined the site of the crime,the sources said,and the police is expected to be sent to Gurez.