Seventy-nine-year-old Aliyakunnel Hameed Makar locked the door of his house and set the house on fire to ensure the death of his son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. Hameed, who is in custody, asked the police, “Is it all over?”, had a hearty breakfast, and then demanded full meals with mutton and fish, for lunch.
The shocking incident was reported from Cheenikkuzhi near Thodupuzha in the Idukki district of Kerala. The deceased were identified as Hameed’s younger son Mohammad Faizal alias Shibu (45), his wife Sheeba (40), and their daughters Mehrin (16) and Asna(13). Police claimed that a dispute over property led to this filicide.
Hameed was living with Faisal in their ancestral home, where the murder happened. At around 12.30 am on Saturday, March 19, Hameed bolted his son’s bedroom from the outside. He also locked the main door from the outside and poured petrol through the windows into the room where Faizal and his family were sleeping and set them on fire.
The murder accused doused Faizal’s bed with petrol and by the time the family woke up, they were all burning. The psychopath watched through the windows as his son rushed to the door, only to find it locked from the outside. Even as they were burning, Hameed kept on pouring more petrol into the room.
Faizal’s youngest daughter somehow managed to call their neighbor Rahul Rajan on his mobile and cried for help. Rahul rushed to the spot and broke open the front door and the bedroom door. Hameed yanked Rajan and threw more petrol into the bedroom.
By then, the desperate family had sought refuge in the washroom and the fire prevented Rajan from entering the bedroom. Rajan subdued Hameed and managed to throw him out of the house. In a desperate bid to save the family, he then checked the water pipes but there was no water.
Cunningly, Hameed had sawed off the connection to the water tank, thereby emptying it, and had pulled out the electrical wires that connected the water pump. The water was anyway coming from Rajan’s well. By then, hearing the commotion, more neighbors arrived. A middle-aged man, Rajan later sobbed when he narrated that the dead children were like his sisters and that they spent their entire lives in and around his house.
Hameed belongs to an affluent family and his family operated a mill and was engaged in the rice trade. He seldom interacted with the locals but neighbors said that hardly a day passed without him creating issues at home. The murderer also had a habit of approaching the courts and the police for the slightest of issues.
His elder son later spoke to reporters and admitted that his father Hameed was a womanizer who liked to live a life of luxury and that he left his wife and three children (including him), 30 years ago. Hameed continued to live in Idukki but was staying with another woman. Since Hameed abandoned his family, Hameed’s father distributed their ancestral property among his three grandchildren.
Hameed meanwhile had some issues at his new place and came back to his ancestral home at Cheenikuzhi, five years ago. It was around the same time as his return that his daughter (Faizal’s sister) committed suicide. Around three years ago, Hameed’s wife Fathima too died. Hameed moved in with Faizal and started living in the ancestral property.
The killer started money lending and settled down, or so the family thought. Hameed had other plans and approached the court complaining that his sons were not taking care of him during his old age. The court instructed his sons to return back 18 cents of land and asked them to provide Hameed with a room and arrange food for the old man and they obliged.
The murderer demanded more land and fought over the food saying that he wanted fish or meat, thrice daily. This harassment did not go down well with Faizal who owns a supermarket nearby. He decided to build his own house and reports showed a house that was in its finishing stages and was getting its interiors done.
Faizal used to return home late in the night, after shutting shop. The minor girls (who died) used to help Hameed’s business and fearing Hameed, used to study at their neighbor’s place. Hameed meanwhile made it clear to both Faizal and his acquaintances that he would not allow them to shift to their new home.
The domestic spat continued and Faizal complained to the Thodupuzha police that his father was issuing death threats. That complaint was registered on February 25 and can be considered as the trigger for the multiple murders. Faizal’s brother admitted that his brother had no other option since Hameed started harming his minor girls. Neighbors too confirmed that the old man harassed his minor grandchildren.
From then on, the teenagers were forced to go to bed along with their parents. Fearing something, Faizal kept his two daughters close. When the police and fire force personnel arrived, they found Faizal’s younger daughter clinging to her father and they had to pry them apart. His wife and the other child were lying face down and all four were charred beyond recognition. All four bodies were found in the toilet.
Hameed noticed that the family was sleeping together and took it as an opportunity. He was able to get his enemies in the same room and it made the massacre, much easier. During the commotion, Hameed escaped but alert neighbors detained him a few hours later and handed him over to the police. He was later brought to the scene of the crime where he showed no remorse.
There are also reports that suggest that Faizal used to sell petrol on the black market. Such sales are illegal but are not uncommon in the hilly areas of Kerala. Hameed showed police a few half-liter bottles filled with petrol in discarded cola bottles, that he had stocked but did not have to use. He said that he filled them three quarters and inserted rags instead of the caps. Hameed also informed police that he was ‘denied food’ on Friday and that is when he decided to kill them all. Police officers confirmed that the murders were premeditated.