A former Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper went berserk, butchering seven people, including his two children in Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam district, police said.
Shankar Rao brutally attacked the victims with a sword, sickle and knives for being witnesses against him in the case of his wife's murder. He did not even spare his nine-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son, police said.
Two women and three men were among those who lost their lives at his hands.
The killings began late on Tuesday and continued till the early hours of Wednesday at Mettapetala village in Jalumuru mandal of Srikakulam district in north coastal Andhra Pradesh, about 600 km from Hyderabad.
Shankar Rao escaped after committing the crime and the police have constituted special teams to track him down.
He had allegedly murdered his wife in 2005 and his children and some others were witnesses in the case, being tried in a local court.
Shankar Rao, who was sacked from CRPF, began attacking his children and other witnesses late on Tuesday night. Eyewitnesses told the police that he butchered his children and then entered another house and hacked a couple to death.
People in the remote village spent a sleepless night as Rao continued attacking people till the early hours of Wednesday. He also threw country-made bombs, which he himself had made, and murdered three more villagers, who were also witnesses in the case.
The incident came to light only Wednesday morning when police reached Mettapetala from a nearby village. Policemen saw bodies lying in the streets. A sword, a sickle and two knives soaked in blood were found along with a dozen country-made bombs.