Police tighten noose around family killer
KARACHI: May 3, 2005: The April 22 incident where a man allegedly killed his wife and four sons in the KMC Quarters was a ‘well-thought planÂ’, say the police officials associated with the investigation of the case.
They ruled out altogether that the man, Nadeem Ahmed, had committed the murders under any psychological disorder. Police investigators, following the interrogation of the killer, believe that Nadeem had been looking for excuses to get rid of his wife for many weeks. “We have circumstantial evidence to support this contention,” says an official, who told Dawn that Nadeem’s sister, living in Korangi, had sent her brother, along with her son, to a faith healer. Later, the healer privately told a nephew of Nadeem that the family should be on alert as he (Nadeem) suspected his wife.
DSP Gul Hameed Samoo, who is assisting the investigating team, maintains that a man suffering from any psychological or psychosomatic disorder, cannot carry out the killing the way Nadeem had planned and executed it.
During investigation, Nadeem told the police that he had sold his motorbike for Rs34,000 and given the money to his other sister living in Ranchor Line. He then proceeded to the shrine of Shah Noorani without informing his family. He returned after two days. He bought some eatables, fruits, sweets, etc, as well as two daggers, from Saddar. He placed all the eatables on a table at the home and hid the daggers in his cupboard.
The accused told the police that he had ensured that the daggers were sharp-edged so that his wife and children did not feel pain. Nadeem, a bulky man, first sat on the chest of his wife while she was asleep and firmly held her mouth with his left hand and slaughtered her with the right hand. He then killed his four sons in the same manner.
Nadeem said a mother could wake up with a slight sound of her children so he killed her first.
According to the police, the killer in his first statement claimed that he had sacrificed his wife and children for the sake of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). The police said that initially, he was trying to mislead the investigators, but later he confessed to having killed his wife suspecting her of infidelity. He told investigators that he had been advised in his dream to visit the Shah Noorani shrine. He did so and it was there that he developed a feeling that his wife was not loyal to him. He decided to kill her, and also the children because he suspected their parentage.
However, the family of Nadeem was in a complete shock. They were worried about the way Nadeem was behaving for some months. However, they did not expect him to kill his wife or children.
“He is not my son. He must face the death penalty,” Ahmed Mansoor, Nadeem’s father said. He was sobbing and bursting into tears as he spoke about the tragedy.
Nadeem, 40, slaughtered his wife Shahjahan, 35, and four sons in his room early in the morning. He first slaughtered his wife and then butchered one-and-a-half-year-old Fahad who was asleep in the lap of his mother. Then he killed Haseeb Ahmed, 12, a student of class VII; Faseeh Ahmed, 10, a student of class IV; and his final victim was the eight-year-old Hamza. Nadeem did not attempt to flee and waited for others to wake up.
Looking feeble, Mr Mansoor, who could not recover fully from the trauma, said that Shahjahan was like his daughter. “She looked after me well and was always caring. She and her children offered prayers regularly,” he added.
Narrating the whole episode, Mr Mansoor said: “Usually we had dinner together but on that day some guests were there. Shahjahan told me that she was going to serve dinner to the guests earlier than the usual time. I replied that it didn’t matter, and I would have dinner later. So she served the dinner for the guests and my son Nadeem was also present there. He was kissing and hugging his children in an unusual manner, but we thought this may be so because of his two-day absence from home.” (A reference to Nadeem’s visit to Shah Noorani shrine).
After the guests left, all started getting to their beds. Faseeh was sleeping with his grandfather. “Generally, the children sleep with me on the eve of holidays. As Faseeh was sleeping on my bed, Haseeb, the elder one, came to wake up Faseeh, saying that papa was calling him. I asked Haseeb to go back as Faseeh was asleep, but he insisted that papa was calling him and they both went to Nadeem’s room.”
In the morning, when Mr Mansoor woke up, he found the two doors of the apartment closed. Mansoor and his wife lived in an illegally raised structure adjacent to the apartment in the main compound where their all three married sons lived. He said Shahjahan used to open a door of the apartment after offering Fajr prayers. “It was unusual that the door was not opened. I thought that maybe Shahjahan was tired and still asleep. So I called my son Faheem to open the door. He came to open it. As I entered the bathroom, I noticed blood flowing out of Nadeem’s room. I knocked at the door but there was no response. Then I shouted to call Faheem, who rushed there. I told him to break open the door. He did so and I saw Nadeem standing in the middle of the room with blood spread everywhere inside. Hamza was lying on settee, Faheem and Haseeb on the floor and Fahad, in the lap of Shahjahan, on the bed – all with their throats slit. I asked him as to what had he done, but he did not reply, and gave a smile and went straight to the bathroom.”
Faheem told Dawn: “When I opened the door, I saw Hamza lying on the settee with his throat slit, and there was blood everywhere in the room. I was shocked and asked Nadeem: Did you slaughter them all? And he replied: “yes, I butchered them all.” These were the only words he uttered, and went straight to the bathroom. Then I cried as I could not collect the courage to enter the room. Hearing shrieks, the neighbours came and one of them locked the bathroom from outside.
Nadeem had got the job of schoolteacher in 1992 and in the same year he got married. He had four sons. He was getting a house constructed in Korangi where they were all planning to move in a month or so. Shahjahan was also a schoolteacher and their marital life was smooth.
About four years back, Mr Mansoor said, Nadeem met with an accident. He suffered a head injury and he was under treatment for more than one year in Hyderabad under a neurologist. Faheem said: “Soon after the accident, Nadeem’s behaviour started changing. He would get emotional at times or would start abusing his children. Sometimes he would even slap his children. He had been advised by his doctor to take certain medicines for whole of his life. But he had given up the medicines some 8/10 months back. He was not a religious man but for the past some days, he was inclined to religion. Having noticed his condition, my bhabhi (Nadeem’s wife) and other family members took Nadeem to some faith-healers. I know one of them. He is a Hindu witch-doctor and lives in Punjab Colony. I don’t know his name, but I know his brother, Kishor.” (Dawn’s investigation reveals that the witch-doctor’s name is Parshautam).
Faheem said: “The witch-doctor advised us to tell him about Nadeem’s behaviour. My bhabhi would tell him about where Nadeem would go and what he would do. When he went missing for two days, as he went to the shrine without informing the family, my bhabhi told the witch-doctor about his disappearance. He told her to inform him as and when Nadeem returned. My bhabhi intimated him the same day when Nadeem returned home from the shrine. The witch-doctor turned up in no time and examined Nadeem at home. Later, he left, saying: “Nadeem’s mental state is not normal and he can do anything.”
DSP Samoo said that Nadeem confessed to having killed his family. He said that he had killed his wife suspecting her of infidelity. “We have found some evidence which corroborated the stance. The sister of Nadeem who lives in Korangi had sent her son with Nadeem to a spiritual leader, who told Nadeem that everything was okay with him. However, he repeatedly asked him to tell about the character of his wife. The spiritual leader later privately told Nadeem’s nephew that the family should remain alert as he did not trust his wife.”
The police, however, do not subscribe the idea that Nadeem has been suffering from mental illness. Therefore, the investigators are not attaching importance to this aspect. The police believe that this aspect may enable the (alleged) killer to get benefit in the judicial process. Another police officer, also associated with the investigating team, said: “If such people are declared mentally ill, and are set free after some years, it would be dangerous for the society.”
A senior psychiatrist, Dr Syed Ali Wasif, said the accused had not been examined by a psychiatrist as yet. However, he added, the events, actions and reactions of the alleged killer showed that he might have been suffering from delusional disorder, schizophrenia or psychotic depression. “The disorder reflects the patient’s firm and fixed belief which is not shakeable by logic. If a man suspects his wife, no logic can shake his belief.”
A religious scholar and chairman of the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee, Mufti Muneebur Rehman, said: “Killing is forbidden (haram) in Islam. If a man kills a person, even for the sake of Allah, he commits crime and drags himself out of the fold of Islam.”