Date: 2018-07-03 17:36:05
In this strange world of ours, there is no shortage of absurd incidents such as the Arushi and Hemraj double murder case or the Tandoor murder case. The recent death of 11 family members in North Delhi's Burari area has left the entire country in shock. The Bhatia family, who are originally from Rajasthan, ran a grocery store and plywood business a few steps from their double-story home in Burari's Sant Nagar. They had been living in the area for two decades.
Every morning, their shop would open by 6 but on Sunday morning when the shutters remained close till 7:30 am, a neighbor went to check on the family. He found the door open and entered the house where he found bodies hanging from the grill ceiling in the courtyard. He informed the police who rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area.
Ten of the family members among who were two teenagers and seven women were found hanging in their courtyard while the body of another woman aged 77 was found in another room. The ten family members who were found hanging had their eyes covered with pieces of cloth from the same bed sheet and their mouths were taped.
The deceased were identified as Narayan Devi, who was found dead on the floor, her daughter Pratibha (57), her two sons Bhavnesh (50) and Lalit Bhatia (45). Bhavnesh's wife Savita (48) and their three children - Meenu (23), Nidhi (25) and Dhruv (15). Lalit Bhatia's wife Tina (42) and their 15-year-old son Shivam were also among those found dead.
Pratibha's daughter Priyanka (33), who was engaged last month and would have married by the end of this year, was also found hanging.
One of the deceased, Lalit Bhatia, may have directed other members to take the extreme step, Police sources said. The sources further added that Lalit could have been mentally unfit and hence hallucinating about his father, who died 10 years ago and probably this unstable mind caused Lalit to direct the mass suicide.
"Two registers have been found, which contain details of a 'Badh Puja' ritual. It means everybody should hang like the branches of a banyan tree," the Delhi Police Crime Branch source said. "The details in the registers match with the way the bodies were found - faces wrapped almost entirely, mouths taped and hands tied behind the back. The notes said no one could use the phone, so six phones were left together on silent mode. It also stated that the family has to order food from outside," the source added.
Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, Alok Kumar earlier in the day said that post-mortem of all the 11 bodies have been completed, and initial reports suggest suicide.
The police first suspected a connection to a gang war in which three were killed last month. On June 18, members of rival gangs opened fire on each other in the main Burari market, killing three people and wounding five. No link has been found to the family deaths.
During a search of the house, certain handwritten notes were found, which point to the observance of some definite "spiritual or mystical practices by the family," a communique from the police said in the evening. The notes spoke of how "the human body is temporary and one can overcome fear by covering their eyes and mouth," news agency Press Trust of India reported, quoting police officers.
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