An unemployed youth, Nizamuddin Mullick, 27, murdered his 10-month-old niece Amatullah Parveen, his sister Feroza, 18, and sister-in-law Salima, before hanging himself from the ceiling of his room in Howrah.
The incident took place at the Mullicks’ ancestral house at Jagatballavpur, Howrah, on Wednesday morning.
Neighbours realised something was wrong after they heard screams from within the house. But by the time they reached, the four were dead. Nizamuddin’s brother Aminuddin, who works in Jaipur, has been informed of the murders.
Superintendent of police, Howrah, Rajesh Kumar, said the infant’s head was severed from the body.
“Feroza and Salima were brutally hacked. Their clothes were soaked in blood. After killing them, Nizamuddin went to his room and hanged himself,” Kumar said.
The Jagatballavpur police reached the house an hour after the incident and sent the bodies for post-mortem.
Kumar said Nizamuddin was a weaver and used to work in Mumbai. His employers had asked him to set up a unit in Mumbai last year, with the help of fellow-workers from Howrah.
“The Mullicks were financially sound and had even built a two-storeyed house in December. In January 2001, Aminuddin married Salima. Since the brothers worked elsewhere, Salima and Feroza stayed at the Jagatballavpur house,” added Kumar.
According to the Mullicks’ neighbours, trouble started after Nizamuddin returned home in June. “His contract with the Mumbai employers had expired and they did not renew it. Nizamuddin felt cheated, as he had chosen the best of weavers from Howrah and taken them to Mumbai over a period of time to set up the unit.
He was angry about the raw deal,’’ said Safique, Nizamuddin’s friend and neighbour.
For the past few months, Nizamuddin had left no stone unturned to get a job. “He had found some part-time jobs, but he was actually looking for full-time occupation, since income was erratic. All this had left him depressed,” said Safique
The situation took a turn for the worse when Feroza and Salima started taunting Nizamuddin for sitting at home and “enjoying his brother’s hard-earned money”.
Neighbours said there were regular tiffs over the issue and on a few occasions, Nizamuddin had stormed out of the house, missing his meals.
Initial investigations revealed that Wednesday’s brutal murders were a fallout of another quarrel between Salima and Nizamuddin on Tuesday morning.
“We heard shouts and screams from the ground-floor room. A little later, Nizamuddin left the house in a huff and returned late in the evening. We thought the issue was settled but in the morning, when we heard screams, we ran to their house and stumbled upon the bloody scene,” a neighbour said.