MUZAFFARABAD, Nov 12: Four members of a family were stabbed to death and another was seriously injured near here Sunday night.

The police said the family was targeted by a couple related to them for unknown reasons. The incident occurred in the Danol village in the south of Muzaffarabad in the jurisdiction of Kahori police.

Raja Shafqat Tanveer, the senior superintendent of police (SSP) Muzaffarabad, told reporters here on Monday that Mohammad Iqbal, 43, his wife Shahnaz, 35, and children Nasir, 13, and Uzma, 12, were stabbed to death by Mohammad Sharif. The accused told the police that he was fully helped by his wife Misbah, 18, in killing the family members.

Mr Iqbal’s eldest daughter Munazza, 15, was also stabbed but she survived and it was her instant phone call to a relative that led to the apprehension of the alleged killers, said the police officer.

He added that Sharif, a carpenter from Mohni Road in Lahore, had moved to Muzaffarabad around two years back and married the sister of Iqbal. However, some three months ago he disappeared along with Misbah, the niece of Shahnaz, and later reportedly married her in Lahore.

The SSP said the accused couple was taken into custody by the Kahori police on Sunday night while another suspect identified as Billa was arrested early Monday. He said Sharif used to live with Billa for quite some time.

Sharif, who was also presented before the mediapersons, claimed that the victims owed him Rs50,000 and despite his repeated demands did not pay him back the amount on one pretext or the other.

“I was rendered penniless and as a last resort I decided to kill them,” he said.

In response to questions, the accused also recounted how he stabbed the victims one by one.The SSP said the police would look into all aspects of the crime and get to the bottom of it within shortest possible time. He said the accused would be presented before a magistrate for their physical remand on Tuesday.

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