Police recovered the bodies of four members of a Buddhist family from the home of a Qatar expatriate in the district’s Ukhia upazila yesterday.
The expatriate, Loken Barua, was on his way to Bangladesh after the incident took place.
The dead, all of whom had their throats slit, are Loken’s mother Sokhi Barua, 62, Loken’s wife Mila Barua, 26, his son Anik Barua, 6, and his nephew Soni Barua, 5, all residents of Purbo Ratnapalong village in the upazila.
Police suspected that the murder might have taken at late night on Wednesday or during the early hours of yesterday.
The village is mostly populated by Buddhist families and most of them are acquainted to each other, said locals.
At around 7:00am yesterday, one of their neighbours Dipali Barua went to Loken’s house to bring fish, which she stored in his refrigerator.
After reaching, Dipali found the door locked. After knocking the door several times, she did not get any response. She then looked through one of the windows of the house and saw slit-throated body of Sokhi.
Dipali immediately informed the other neighbours of what she saw. The neighbours rushed to the spot and informed the police, Dipali told The Daily Star.
Police rushed to the spot and recovered the bodies from two rooms, said Nihad Adnan Taiyan, additional superintendent of police (Ukhia circle).
Speaking to The Daily Star, Loken’s sister Benu said she last spoke to Mila over phone at around 10:00pm on Wednesday, right before Mila and her family were going to sleep.
“Loken is on his way to Bangladesh from Qatar already,” she said.
Police are suspecting that the criminals entered the house through the door on the roof and then slaughtered the four.
Speaking to journalists, ABM Masud Hossain, superintendent of police in Cox’s Bazar, said it might be a planned killing. Police are trying to find further evidence to trace the killers.
The bodies were sent to Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital for autopsy, said the police officer.
Several senior officials of the district administration, police and Buddhist community leaders visited the spot.
Following the incident, the villagers were faced with fear and shock.
Several hundred people, who thronged the area to see the bodies, demanded immediate punishment of killers.
Speaking to The Daily Star, Ratnapalong Union Parishad Chairman Khairul Alam Chowdhury said the murder may have taken place following a family feud over land and property.