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Anwar Family: The Strange Mass Suicide Case

On July 11, 2007, Abdul Matin and Md. Enayet Khan was operating the local train GM Express 254 which runs from Jamalpur to Mymensingh in Bangladesh. The train was reaching Itkhala in the Kashar area of Mymensingh as the train was driving the two operators saw a group of nine people including men, women, and even kids walking onto the railway track from the left side before stopping and sitting on the train tracks. The operators desperately attempted to avoid what was coming blowing the horn and pulling the emergency brake but it was too late to avoid the incident and no way to stop the train.


The train crashed with the group with enough force to dismember their bodies with pieces of their remains being across many kilometers of the railway line with blood, flesh, and bones coating the tracks resulting in one of the train operators fainting once he exited the vehicle to examine the scene. Two members of the group survived the first impact with two consisting of a young woman and a male child the two shouted “water, water” as locals flocked to the scene they tried to bring the two to a hospital with water but they died on arrival.

Naturally, the police were summoned to the scene and started questioning the residents to recognize the deceased. As luck would have it those queried knew who the corpses belonged to. All 9 were members of the same family with the bodies belonging to a 60-year-old woman Hena Anwar, her two sons Arif and Rahat Anwar aged 30 and 22 respectively, and her four daughters Aktari Anwar, Mursheda Anwar, Moon Anwar who went by the alias of Moby and Shabnam Anwar the four aged 35, 28, 30 and 18 and two grandchildren Maula Anwar and Mau Anwar aged 8 and 10 respectively with the family’s pucca home being next to the railroad. The corpses nonetheless were so shattered that it was tough at first to match each family member to their respective remains.

Pic: Top Tenz


The family resided in a pucca house which consisted of 5-6 rooms and once the police entered the house to investigate and seek an explanation for the gruesome mass suicide. Inside they discovered small fish having been cut in the kitchen and that all the vegetables were fresh. The most startling thing greeted police officers when they entered the backyard and discovered that a hole big enough for all the family members had been dug in the backyard the police also found that the family had bought coffins for themselves in advance.

Inside the house and the family member’s rooms, the police would also discover many diaries belonging to the family and written in their handwriting with some entries in Bengali and others in English with some experts from the diaries going as follows “We are the only family in the world who are independent and self-reliant. Mohammed is outside the law and out of all the activities of all religions. So who are we? We are Adam” and “Adam is the truth above all, I will arrange justice for the oppressed” It didn’t take long for the police to figure out what Adam was because on a sign placed at the front of the house read a message that said “ADAMS HOME THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE IS ADAMS. ADAMS IS TRUTH ABOVE ALL. THE TRUTH IS HIS LAW, TIME, AND HUMAN. NONE ENTER AND TOUCH ANYTHING. IF ANYONE DOES. WE MUST TAKE REVENGE. ORDER BY: ADAMS. JULY-11-2007”

Mass Suicide

The police after finding the religious overtones of this mass suicide quickly closed off the area and declared the house a crime scene but the details got leaked and hundreds of people gathered to try and get a view of the grave and coffins due to the home’s nameplate the media named the case “Adam’s House” The police assessed the diaries further and discovered that despite all the references to Adam and Eve none of the family members ever mentioned God or Christianity but they also discover references to prior suicide try with the family trying to carry out a mass suicide since July 7 with one room having a chair placed on the bed and numerous nooses hanging from the ceiling but curiously the family did not consider it a suicide but rather an opportunity to reunite with their father and older brother.

In another room, police discovered candles, paper, and some utensils which initially looked like one of the family members schemed to cook but it was shortly made clear that the objective was spiritual as planchet and paper are used to communicate with the spirits of the deceased.

The police queried the neighbors of the family and the local ward commissioner who said that the family had no relation to anybody in the area and that they never visited any of the neighbors and none of them visited the family but despite this, they didn’t have a poor relationship. The police then started looking into the family’s background and deeper into their beliefs.

The man who founded Adam’s House was a man named Anwar Hossain. Anwar was a practicing Muslim who retired from the Bangladeshi army. After his military career, he started hosting various religious activities and was given nicknames such as Darvesh (which he adopted as his new last name), Fakir, and Pir. His thoughts and practices nonetheless started to veer away from conventional Islamic thought and would often get into arguments with other followers of Islam and of other faiths when he would discuss religion with them. In one such example in 1995 he was in a village and got into an argument with the holders of the establishment which ended with the tea shop owners beating him and then sending him on his way.


After this beating, he greatly lessened the number of people he would authorize into his house with his other family members doing the same. According to his estranged family members who rejected to follow suit Anwar would then convert to Christianity which further drained his relationship with his other family. Afterward, he began baptizing his family members and a select few outsiders who shared his views. His eldest son Arif Adam (birth name Anwar Mahin and who some sources also say studied at Oxford) became his eldest disciple and the two would meditate for hours on end. During this time they would distance themselves further from other relatives and when relatives began to look for them Anwar and his family would yell at and chase them away.

Anwar Darvesh died from a heart attack at a hospital in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka on July 10, 2000, before he died he had written instructions drafted for what his family members were to do with his corpse after death with the instructions going as follows “After death, I will not perform any Janazah, I will not take a bath, I will not wear a shroud. I will be buried in the exact condition in which I will die. Don’t take me to any cemetery, dig a hole inside the home and bury me. I will have my head in the east, my feet in the west, and my face in the south. If you bury me differently, I will take vengeance”

His family tried to carry out his instructions but the villagers and regional authorities would not authorize it and Anwar’s burial would be conducted with traditional Islamic rites such as a bath and Janazah with the proceedings being supervised by the police, magistrate, and local lords to maintain the peace and avoid Anwar’s family from disrupting the funeral nonetheless his immediate relatives refused to attend.


After Anwar’s burial, the rest of his family moved and settled in Dhaka. Arif who was Anwar’s oldest follower and son took over as the head of Adam’s House and he did work and have a job which he used to maintain and support the family one of the diary entries states that he was the dean of 52 universities in Dhaka. Arif died on September 10, 2005, when he was killed by unknown attackers with the crime never having been solved.

After Arif’s demise the family returned to the village they were originally from and then to Mymensingh. During this time the second eldest son voluntarily and on good terms left the house but had a diary entry that read “We are the only family in the world that is independent and self-dependent. We are the only family in the world that is independent and self deep self-dependentmmed’s rules., Law and religious activities and revisions.” (The misspellings are how the entry was written) with him gone Aktari Anwar would take over and proceed with the rites of Adam among other siblings. The family then started regular meditation to talk to the spirits of Alif and Anwar with Aktari beginning to give orders and prohibitions stating that they came from Anwar and in some of Aktari’s diary entries specific sections appear to have been written from Anwar’s perspective. Shortly everyone began to also feel as if Anwar was speaking through them and the family slept and meditated for the entire month.

Despite all the references to Adam and Eve as mentioned before only Adam and Eve were ever mentioned in their diaries with no references to God or Christianity and when police queried the owners of Churches and members of the Christian community in Mymensingh they all stated that they had never heard of or noticed the family and that they never went to church or attended Christian ceremonies furthermore nobody even heard of “Adam’s house” before the incident with the lead investigator stating that the family existed outside of normal religion with a quote from him explaining it “In reality, they did not believe in any traditional religion. According to the narration in the diary at one time they even worshipped Kali. They did not discover their expected salvation in Christianity either. They were searching for a ‘free’ life outside the bondage of religion like ‘Adam and Eve lived in the early days of the earth. That is why they referred to themselves as the ‘Adam’ family,”

According to their beliefs, Adam was the first man and human to ever exist but that Adam was not created by God rather he was the creator and that by extension every individual who exists today is a part of Adam or as they called him “Bani Adam” nonetheless, Adam himself still existed as he reincarnated into a new body every time he died with his most recent and at the time current reincarnation being in Bangladesh sometime in the 20th century.

The new development would soon come on July 14th and it would be an enormous one as a woman in the Brahmanbaria District would come forward and recognize herself as Moby Anwar one of Anwar Darvesh’s daughters and one of those said to have died in the mass suicide. She was definitively recognized as the Moby with her stating that she came forward after reading her name amongst the death toll in a newspaper. She clarified that she did not share her father and family’s beliefs and wasn’t a part of “Adam’s House” but that her two close relatives Maula and Mau were indeed dedicated members and amongst the death toll.

Moby was hesitant to accept the story as that of mass suicide and claimed it was a case of premeditated killing as the same criminals behind Arif’s death in 2005 invaded the family home and threw them under the train. The police though had a problem accepting this theory due to the testimony of the train operators and how all the diaries seemed to be written in the family member’s original handwriting with the only exception being Hena’s but that’s only because those who knew her said she was illiterate and the handwriting for her diary matched to one of her daughter’s.

The police nonetheless after Moby came forward examined the dismembered remains and assumed that the set of remains falsely attributed to Moby did belong to an anonymous woman. Bangladeshi authorities have not released much information about the remains other than that they were similar in age and features to Moby. Police did have one lead in regards to her identity is one of the diary entries belonging to a woman named “Lina” Lina’s diary states that she and her parents were disciples and followers of Anwar Darwish and regularly went to visit his house but her parents stopped once “Adam”s House” started seemingly ending their following of Anwar. Lina, however, disagreed with her parents and agreed with Anwar soon abandoning her family and traveling to Adam’s House to become a member of the family and even changing her name to “Lina Anwar” with some journalists referring to her as the house’s “Work girl”. Despite this lead, it did not lead to an identification with Lina presumably being an alias as nobody came forward to state that they knew anyone named Lina and none of the other family member’s diary entries ever mention Lina.

The bodies and remains of the family and “Lina” were held at the Mymensingh Medical College Hospital for autopsy nonetheless despite Moby being alive the remains were never claimed so they were handed over to Bangladeshi Charity and Welfare organization Anjuman Mufidul Islam who held a burial for the corpses in accordance to traditional Muslim rites.

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