Thane’s mass murder where a man invited his family for dinner and then slaughtered 14 of them before ending his life early on Sunday has baffled psychologists and criminologists.
Psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty said: “This seems like a major form of mental illness. The incident seems to be planned and committed by someone who was not well. Several social factors including stress, property dispute, relationships and poverty have to be considered to understand what exactly transpired.”
Shetty added that a proper psychological autopsy of the sequence of events and the family history is a must.
Psychologists said there are thousands of citizens facing mental stress and violent incidents are preventable if the signs are noticed at an early stage.
“The bizarre act was a result of ignoring the early signs of poor mental health and the stigma associated with it,” said Shetty, adding that there is a need to increase awareness on mental health issues.
Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Gauri Raut said: “It may be possible he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Normally, a person would buy time between the killings and then realise the nature of the offence.”
Raut, who has been practising for more than 15 years, said there would have been subtle signs of depression which Hasnain Warekar’s family may have missed. “There are lots of signs to identify poor mental health but many a times these are subtle and can be missed. In depression, the way a person talks is different; he would make statements like ‘I want to give up everything’,” added Raut.
Psychological experts said one of the common symptoms is material detachment. For instance, a person starts giving up his belongings to others. A person also withdraws from activities he once loved.
Criminologist Vijay Raghavan said, “There are so many crimes committed in a fit of rage. There may be a long-pending dispute or stress. Unless we know what triggered and the circumstances, it won’t be possible to comment.”