A man, locked up in a room in his house for months on the pretext he was suffering from mental illness, hacked to death five members of his own family in a fit of rage.
The incident took place late Wednesday evening at Bihjadi village under Sahdei Bujurg police outpost of north Bihar's Vaishali district, about 25 km from the state capital across the Ganga river.
Sources said Sunil Kumari Giri, 40, who was being kept in confinement with his hands and feet tied with rope, broke free and wielded an axe to injure the family members present in the house.
Of these, his mother Kamli Devi (60), his nephew Rishu (5) and his niece Iliya (7), who had sustained grievous injuries died at the Hajipur sadar hospital soon after being brought there.
Two others, Sunil's sister in law (bhabhi) Guria Devi (26) and another niece, Preeti Kumari (8), were rushed to the Patna medical college hospital (PNCH), where they succumbed to their injuries late Wednesday night.
Two more victims of the attack were fighting for their lives at PMCH, when reports last came in.
Vaishali SP Suresh Prasad Choudhary confirmed Sunil's mother, Kamli, was among those who died at his hands. "The assailant is on the run but we hope to get him very soon", he told HT, late Thursday afternoon.
The SP also confirmed that the accused was 'mentally deranged' and was being kept with his hands and leg tied to prevent him from attacking other members of the family.
Sunil, who was apparently aggrieved about being 'ill-treated', went on the rampage when all the male members of the family had gone to attend a marriage feast in the village.
"On the fateful night, Sunil managed to free himself from bondage. In a fit of rage, he started abusing the women and children present before setting himself upon them with an axe", the SP stated.
It was a poignant scene on the bank of the Ganga, close to the village, on Thursday, when the accused person's 11 year old nephew, Arudh Kumar, lit the funeral pyres of the five deceased, after their post mortem.
Arudh, who escaped death as he was not home at the time, performed the rituals in the presence of hundreds of villagers who had turn up for the funeral.
Some locals claimed Sunil lost his bearings after he was not allowed to marry on the ground he was not of sound mind.
"The ongoing investigation will reveal the full facts of the case", the SP said.