11 of a family found dead in Delhi

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Jul 2018 08:28:28



Ten bodies were found hanging from an iron grill ceiling and blindfolded with their hands and legs tied, while a 75-year-old woman’s body was found on the floor

ELEVEN members of a family, including seven women, were found dead under mysterious circumstances at their residence in north Delhi’s Burari on Sunday, police said, sending shock waves through the area.
Ten bodies were found hanging from an iron grill ceiling and blindfolded with their hands and legs tied, while a 75-year-old woman’s body was found on the floor.
Two of the deceased were children - both aged 15.
The eyes and mouth of those found hanging were covered with cloth and taped. The woman found dead on the floor was not blindfolded. The hands and feet of the children were tied, police said.

After some hours of investigation, Additional Commissioner of Police Vinit Kumar said that the case had been handed over to the Crime Branch. “During investigation, a case of murder has been registered based on the facts and circumstances,”  Kumar said.Police found some hand-written notes during a search of the house, which, they said, suggest the family might have into some sort of religious practices. But it was not immediately clear what exactly the contents of the notes were.

According to the police, they were informed by a neighbour that six to seven people have committed suicide. Upon reaching the spot, they found that 11 people have died.
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) and Nidhi (25), and Dhruv, aged 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.
Bhavnesh ran a grocery store on the ground floor of the house. He used to open his shop around 6 am, the family’s neighbour Amrik Singh said.

“On Sunday, the shop was not opened till 7 am. The milk van had arrived outside the shop. A couple of neighbours had gathered because the van driver was continuously honking. Then I opened the main gate and went upstairs. What I saw there left me shocked,” said Gurcharan Singh, another neighbour.

Another area resident who had seen the bodies said: “They were all hanging with ‘chunnis’ while Lalit had a telephone wire wrapped around his neck.”
After that, the residents called the police. A senior police official said the crime branch will investigate the case. The police said they were probing all angles and have not ruled out the possibility of a foul play.

Earlier on Sunday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari visited the neighbourhood. The family was into plywood business and also ran a grocery store. They were living in the locality for nearly 20 years, residents said.
The residents were in a state of shock after learning about the tragedy. Other members of the family alleged that they had been killed.

Narayan Devi had three sons and daughters. The eldest son Dinesh Bhatia lives in Kota, Rajasthan. Pratibha, who was younger to Dinesh but elder to Bhavnesh and her other siblings, was a widow and was living with her brothers. One of Narayan Devi’s daughters, Sujata, lives in Panipat with her family.

“I can’t believe that they committed suicide. Everyone was so happy. Someone has killed my family and the police have to find them,” a sobbing Sujata said.


Handwritten notes compound mystery


HANDWRITTEN notes saying that “the human body is temporary and one can overcome fear by covering their eyes and mouth” were found at a house in north Delhi’s Burari, where 11 members were found dead under mysterious circumstances this morning.
A senior police officer said the notes indicate a “religious or spiritual angle” to the deaths. Another officer said a probe will be conducted to find “if the family indulged in occult practices” or they followed “any godman”.

The eyes and mouth of the 10 members, found hanging were covered with cloth and taped, while a 75-year-old woman, found dead on the floor, was not blindfolded, the police said, adding that the hands and feet of the children were tied.

The police found some hand-written notes during a search of the house, which, they said, suggest the family might have been observing some religious rituals. “We have found handwritten notes detailing how hands and legs are to be tied and are quite similar to the manner in which the bodies of 10 persons were found. They are exhaustive notes and we are studying them,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Alok Kumar.

Another officer said the notes were found in a couple of registers and are quite exhaustive. They talk about how one can overcome fear by covering one’s eyes and mouth, how one can attain salvation and how the human body is temporary but the soul always continues to live on.
“The notes say if a group of 11 people follows these rituals, all problems would ease out and they would attain salvation. Some notes have dates on which they were written while others didn’t have it. All the notes talk about reaching the end and gaining peace,” said one of the investigators.

While a murder case has been registered, the police suspect the deaths to be a case of suicide pact.
“It is possible that the elderly woman was strangulated since she was not in a condition to climb the stool. We are probing whether the children were killed or were convinced to take the extreme step,” said the other officer.
The police are also probing whether the family was into black magic or was following any godman.

Locals, however, said that even though the family was religious, they never saw anything suspicious.
“They would chant ‘Gayatri Mantra’ and worship gods once during morning and once in the evening. We never saw any ‘tantrik’ or godman visiting their house. They were helpful and humble,” said one of the neighbours.

Devi’s grandson, Ketan Nagpal, said the family members were killed and someone was trying to mislead the investigation. “We have not been informed about the notes. In this day and age, who follows such things? They were killed and the police have to find the accused,” he said. The neighbours also said that the victims family members regularly used to write one or the other religious ‘shlokas’ in Hindi on a board outside their house. The post-mortem examination of the bodies is being carried out, the police said., adding that it will clear only after autopsy if one of them killed the rest and then committed suicide or was it a suicide pact.

“We will also be speaking to Bhavnesh’s elder brother Dinesh and sister Sujata to know about various religious practices followed by them,” said the investigator.