Burari family began preparing 10 days before hanging: Police

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Jul 2018 11:17:59


By Sanjeev Pal,


THE family that was found hanging in their north Delhi house on June 30 began preparations at least 10 days before its alleged “mass suicide”, police said. As per a video footage obtained from a premises opposite the family house, the family bought goods used in rituals, five tables and bandage from shops close to their Burari home.
The Crime Branch officials on Wednesday visited the house in Sant Nagar and conducted another search.

Police said Crime Branch investigators believe that one of the dead couples -- Lalit Bhatia and his wife Tina -- tied the hands and legs of other family members before all of the them hung themselves from an iron grill on a ceiling of a corridor during a ritual prayer. “In another video clipping, Bhavnesh’s wife Savita and Tina were seen purchasing five stools at 10 p.m. on June 30. After some time, their teenaged children Dhruv and Shivam were seen carrying electric wire, which was used in hanging by some of the family members.

“The line of investigation is focused on the role of Lalit and his wife,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Joy N. Tirkey said.
“The Crime Branch, which is examining the CCTV footage of the last two months, has found couple involved in suspicious activities. The couple was seen carrying goods used in ritual prayers from June 23 to 30. In one of the footage of June 27, Lalit was seen carrying a polybag containing items connected to Vastu Shastra,” a senior police officer connected to the probe said on the condition of anonymity.

“It was found in investigation that generally the family used to send one of their servants to purchase household goods,” the officer said. “An employee at a nearby restaurant said he delivered 20 loaves as ordered by Lalit Bhatia on June 30 night. The food packet was received by Lalit Bhatia who took money from his brother Bhavnesh to pay up,” the officer added.

“Lalit Bhatia was last seen entering the house on the night of the incident. He was seen walking in the street with family pet dog which was chained in a room on the second floor during the ritual prayer. Their neighbour said that the family generally unleashed the dog during night hours and the pet was seen barking loudly on the fateful night,” he said. “Like his late father Gopaldass, who was in the Indian Army, Lalit gave all family members training in discipline, code of conduct, rehearsals of dos and don’ts during ritual practices. As per an entry in one of the registers seized from the house, he also instructed family members often to stand to position like soldiers after morning prayers for increasing mental strength,” the officer added.

Police rule out godman’s role in Burari deaths


DELHI Police has questioned over 20 relatives of the Burari-based family in connection with the mysterious deaths of its 11 members and is likely to rope in a psychiatrist to assist the investigators in the probe.
The police have ruled out the involvement of any self-styled godman so far.

Earlier, they found that the family had started following a Kondli-based godman, but nothing substantial was found on that front. The police recovered a third register with notes about “salvation”, “shunya” and “appeasing God”. Some loose sheets of paper were found containing notings from 2008, which indicated that Lalit Bhatia had turned towards spiritualism after his father’s death that year.

Policemen questioned 20 family members including the family matriarch’s eldest son, her daughter and one of her deceased daughters-in-law’s sisters, all of whom denied that the family indulged in “occult”, said a senior police officer. There were rumours doing the rounds on Tuesday that 11 rods on top of the gate had something to do with the case but police ruled it out. Police have more or less ruled out the involvement of any self-styled godman in the case and are probing it as a case of “shared psychosis”.