Youth kills parents, siblings to spare them poverty
LAHORE: A 20-year-old man killed his parents and six younger siblings in the Baghbanpura area of Gujranwala on Sunday because his father could not feed the family, police said.
Muhammad Afzal first drugged all eight members of his family, before tying them up with ropes and shooting them dead. The siblings were aged between three and 16 years and died on the spot.
Afzal initially told police that bandits had killed his family during a burglary, but eventually confessed to the murders, saying he decided to kill his family because they could not break out of the cycle of poverty.
“His father was a poor donkey cart owner and he told us that the father had been unable to feed the family twice a day,” police told the media.
According to doctors at Civil Hospital Gujranwala, Afzal’s only injury was a minor one to the hand. During interrogations held at the hospital, Afzal eventually confessed his murder to the police and admitted his hand was injured after pulling his gun’s trigger several times and reloading quickly. Afzal had hid his weapon behind a grain silo in his house, according to Sub Inspector Safdar Ali Dhotar, who was the first policeman to reach the site.
Dhotar told The Express Tribune that Afzal fired eight bullets, shooting each family member once in the head. The victims were all shot at point blank range.
The young killer, it seems, came from a troubled home. Dhotar told The Express Tribune that Afzal often saw his parents quarrel, a situation perhaps intensified by poor economic conditions.
“I killed my siblings to save them starvation after the death of our parents,” Dhotar quoted the killer as saying. Afzal also reportedly said his father repeatedly accused his mother of having an affair, while she accused her husband of gambling.
After witnessing several rows between his parents, Afzal apparently bought a pistol from his cousin in Sialkot during Ramazan. Since then he had waited for the right time to murder his family, police said, adding that a month ago Afzal fired in the air in the presence of his father to frighten him into not causing more trouble at home. A neighbour also reportedly reconciled the family members twice in the past year.
Azfal’s father, Asghar, had been without a source of income in the two months since his donkey died. Afzal was a labourer in an aluminium pot factory, earning Rs16,000 per month. His younger brothers Iqbal and Sajid were also labourers in factories. His mother used to sew footballs at their house.
Police said that after registering an FIR against Afzal, they will now conduct further investigations. The bodies have been sent to a mortuary for autopsies and police have collected fingerprints and blood samples.
(With additional input from AFP)