The family that lost four of its members in mysterious circumstances in the capital's Turag area early on Friday had been facing financial hardship for the last five years.
Mostafa Kamal is the lone surviving member of his family. His wife Rehena Parvin, 35, daughters Nusrat, 13, and Arisha, 9, and son Saad, aged about nine months, were found dead at their house.
Police primarily suspected the housewife committed suicide after strangling her children. They were interrogating Mostafa, his mother and sister Kohinur at Turag Police Station yesterday.
Mostafa quit his job at a Chittagong buying house and came to Dhaka in 2006. He got involved in a multi-level marketing business and sale of land, said his family members and neighbours.
The 40-year-old built 16 tin-shed rooms on his father's 4 katha land in Turag. His family started living in three rooms and three others were used by one of his sisters. The rest of the rooms were rented out to tenants.
Rehena's relatives said Mostafa used to collect rents of around Tk 25,000 a month and could hardly spend Tk 5,000 to meet his family expenses as he had to pay the utility bills and give the rest of the amount to his sisters.
But things worsened when his sisters started pressing him to vacate the house for failing to repay them some loans.
Talking to reporters at the Dhaka Medical College (DMC) on Friday, Mostafa said two influential men, who had taken Tk 50 lakh from him to invest in business, might have been behind the deaths of his family members as the two were not repaying the money and threatening him not to ask for the money.
He, however, didn't disclose the two names.
Rehana's brother Shamsur Rahman filed a murder case with Turag police Station on Friday, accusing Mostafa and his sister Kohinur.
He said his sister's in-laws might have killed the four to take possession of the house. Instead of helping the mother of three children to overcome the financial crisis, the in-laws put mental pressure on her, Shamsur alleged.
Rehana, eighth among her six sisters and four brothers, used to collect around Tk 4,000 a month from her brother and sisters to support her family.
Mostafa was aware of the incidents, but he never took any step, Shamsur told The Daily Star.
Despite repeated attempts, this correspondent could not reach Rehana's in-laws for comment.
Shafiqur Rahman, inspector (investigation) of Turag Police Station, said Mostafa's sister during interrogation admitted that they were not in good terms with Rehana. She, however, refuted the allegation of putting mental pressure on her sister-in-law.
Bidhan Tripura, deputy commissioner (Uttara Division) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said they were not terming the incident “suicide” as the doctor who conducted autopsies has an observation about Rehana's death.
“We will wait for the autopsy report. In the mean time, we will look into the land dispute, financial crisis and business issues,” he added.
Autopsies were carried out on the four bodies at the DMC on Friday. Morgue sources at the hospital said the three children were strangled. The reason for their mother's death would be ascertained after examining some tissues of her body. The test results would be available after around a month.
The four were buried at a graveyard in Kamarpara of Turag on Friday night.