The recovery of bodies of five members of one family in Dakkhin Jamalpur village in Tapan Block sent shockwaves across the district today. While the body of Anu Barman, 38, was found hanging from the ceiling of her house, the four other members of the family were brutally hacked to death, police said.

On receiving information, a police team reached the spot at No.6 Gram Panchayat, Chandipur and recovered the bodies, while police also started investigations. The other family members included Anu’s mother Ula Bala Barman, 58, his wife Mallika Barman, 28, and two daughters Beauty, 10, and Snighdha, police said.

“There was a family picnic on Saturday night, attended by all the family members. However, this morning we noticed that everything was quiet inside the house. We looked around and found all of them dead. It could be planned murder. Anu was a heart patient and he has no enemy as far as I know. Police should investigate the matter properly and punish the miscreants,” one of their relatives, Gouranga Sarkar, said.

Police souorces, on the other hand, said that preliminary investigations revealed that Anu Barman was suffering from cancer and he was depressed for the past some days.

“It appears that the said person first killed the four female members of his family and finally hanged himself. The bodies have been shifted and legal procedures are being followed,” the office of the Superintendent of Police said in a statement after the incident.

Another family member, Akulbala Barman, however, said, “Police are trying to wrap up the case and claiming it to be a case of suicide. Anu was a heart patient and he never had a sour relationship with family members. All of them were present in the family picnic. Why would Anu will kill the others? They lead a good family life. There must be something else behind this. Police should not come to conclusions in haste but investigate the matter properly.”

The Superintendent of Police, Deborshi Dutta, said that prima facie it appears that Anu killed his family members and committed suicide. “However, thorough investigations are going on,” he said.

“Following a complaint lodged by Amit Burman, who is the nephew of the deceased Anu Burman and the first person to enter the house today, an FIR (murder) is being initiated at the Tapan police station,” he added.