Just days after the Delhi Police discovered 11 dead bodies of the same family in the city’s Burari area, cops have stumbled upon some chilling evidence related to their mass suicides.
On 30 June, cops had recovered the blind-folded and gagged bodies of 11 members of the same family from their north Delhi house. However, cops investigating the case have now revealed that the family had begun preparations at least 10 days before they all ended their lives in a “mass suicide.”
The police have accessed a CCTV video footage obtained from a premises opposite the family house. In the CCTV video, at least two family members are seen bringing ropes, five tables and bandages from shops to be used to commit suicides.
According to officials in the Crime Branch, one of the dead couples, Lalit Bhatia and his wife Tina, may have 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 CCTV video, say the Crime Branch officials, Savita, Lalit’s sister-in-law and Tina were seen purchasing five tables at 10 p.m. on 30 June. 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 was quoted by IANS.
“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,” another senior police officer told the news agency.
The investigation so far also revealed that the family would often send one of their servants to purchase household goods.
On the fateful night, said the police officials, the family had ordered 20 breads to be consumed by them before they committed suicide. Diary notes recovered by cops reveal that 45-year-old Lalit, the younger son of the 77-year-old matriarch Narayani Devi, had managed to convince his entire family that they would blind-fold and gag themselves before hanging from the roof to attain salvation.
“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 who took money from his brother Bhavnesh to pay up,” the officer added.
Police say that Lalit appeared to have suffered from hallucination and was convinced that his deceased father would come to save them. One of the writings in a diary, written on the day of the suicides, read, “…keep water in a cup, when it changes colour, I will appear and save you.” After the “ritual”, everyone was to untie each other, reported NDTV.
The time for hanging was fixed for 1 am. Lalit, however, wielded incredible clout on his family members, who credited him for the run of good fortunes in the family. His niece Priyanka Chundawat was reportedly struggling to find a good match for marriage because of she being manglik, but when she was engaged on 17 June, the family attributed the development to rituals prescribed by Lalit.
“Lalit 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.
“Lalit daily recalled the previous day’s chores and listed activities in his registers and made lists of things on which he had instructed other family members to follow. He used to research on death and mysteries of soul. As per his mobile phone details, he often watched paranormal and ghost shows on ‘You Tube’ and other Internet platforms,” he added.
The Crime Branch officials on Wednesday visited the house in Sant Nagar and conducted another search. They said that visera reports were expected within 10 to 15 days, which will tell if the family’s food was laced with sedatives before their deaths.