LAHORE - Police investigators probing into the killing of eight persons of a family on Wednesday concluded that the 28-year-old chemical engineer brutally killed his seven relatives before committing suicide at their Johar Town apartment.

The autopsy report also confirmed that Nazir Iqbal had no injuries on his body and apparently he committed suicide by swallowing poisonous pills. The other seven members of his family including three children and two women were mercilessly killed with a blunt weapon, recovered from the bedroom of Nazir and lying next to his body.

A senior police investigator told The Nation that the multiple-murder mystery has almost been solved while legal formalities are being completed in the otherwise complicated case and a rare incident.

“It has been established during the investigations conducted so far that the chemical engineer (Nazir) executed the killings in a premeditated plan,” a senior officer, who is part of the three-member investigation team, confirmed to this reporter and preferred his name not to be mentioned. “We recovered sufficient evidences from the crime scene which helped investigators to establish the facts,” he said.

Medical experts who performed the autopsy of the deceased at the Jinnah Hospital’s mortuary also revealed that the seven family members including two brothers, their wives, and three children were killed with a blunt weapon and “serious head injuries” was the cause of death. But in the case of Nazir, no torture mark was found on his body and the cause of death was poisonous substance, probably pills.

However, the investigators are still waiting for the report of forensic laboratory to ascertain the nature of the white powder lying beside each body at the crime scene.

Police investigators say they believe the chemical engineer used the chemical to render the victims unconsciousness so that none of them would be able to resist.

On the other hand, the police handed over the bodies to the ill-fated family after the autopsy. All the deceased were taken to their native town in Gujranwala district, where they were buried next to each other in the Chaman Shah graveyard amid tears and screaming. Hundreds of relative and family friends of the deceased attended the funeral prayers held in the Dhobi Ghaat ground.

Dr Naseer Iqbal, a brother of the deceased who landed in Lahore from the United States on early Wednesday to participate in the religious rites, told reporters that Nazir had been suffering from cancer for the last ten years.

He rejected the reports that Nazir had been suffering from some mental disorder. “We cannot imagine that he did it and that he did it to his own family members,” a TV news channel quoted Naseer as telling to reporters after the burial in Gujranwala.

Many emotional scenes were witnessed as the bodies of eight members of the same family were taken out from their Kumboh Colony residence for burial. The women were seen screaming over the dead while everyone was in tears, even the local residents.

On Tuesday afternoon, eight persons of the middle-class family were found murdered n cold blood in a rented apartment in the E-block Johar Town neighbourhood. Except of the killer, the faces of seven members of his family were mutilated beyond recognition.

Earlier, the relative of the deceased suspected the involvement Nazir in the horrific incident stating that the engineer had been at odds with his brothers over some dispute.

Majid Iqbal, a brother of the deceased, told reporters that the possible involvement of his brother could not be ruled out in the tragic incident.

According to sources close to the victim family, Nazir had indulged in gambling and he lost hundreds of thousands of rupees in betting during his stay in Karachi several years ago.

The attitude of the wives of his brothers, among the dead, was also not good with him as he used to take drugs.

The deceased brothers were identified as Shahid Iqbal, 45, a national-highway contractor, Zahid Iqbal, 48, a professor at a private university in Lahore and Nazir Iqbal, a 28-year-old chemical engineer.

Nasim Bibi and Farzana Bibi, the wives of Shahid and Zahid, are said to be sisters. Seventeen-year-old Fahad and his seven-year-old sister Amna and their cousin Misbah are among those murdered in cold blood.