In a shocking incident, bodies of seven women and four men were found in a house in Delhi’s Burari area on Sunday morning. Some of the bodies recovered were found hanging, while some were blindfolded. Handwritten notes recovered from the house which indicated towards observance of some definite spiritual or mystical practices by the whole family and provide a motive in the case.
Here is what we know about the case so far:
- Though no suicide note has been recovered yet, prima facie, the police suspect the Bhatia family committed suicide. But the police is also investigating the case with other possible angles of homicide. It is also checking the CCTV footage and not ruling out anything. This means it could also be a case of murder.
- A diary found in the house had detailed instructions for “mass salvation”, including how hangings should be conducted. The Bhatias seemed to have followed the instructions, some of which may have been written months ago. They conducted a “havan” hours before the suicides.
The Bhatia family had been writing down the steps to attain “mass salvation”, which will now serve as clues for police to unravel the mystery. Some of the notes stated that “one will not die” but attain something “great”, the officer said.
The notes even specify the favourable day and time on which these “Kriyas” should be performed. “Saat din Bad pooja lagataar Karni hai.. Thoda lagan aur shraddha se… Koi Ghar me aa jaaye to agle din… Guruvaar ya Ravivaar ko chunein…” (Worship the Banyan tree for seven days at a stretch with devotion. If somebody comes home then do it the next day. Choose Thursday or Sunday as the day of the act). The notes even specify the favourable time as midnight to 1 am.
- Pratibha’s daughter Priyanka, 33, who got engaged last month, was also hanging. An IT company employee, she was said to be excited about her wedding later this year.
- CCTV footage shows that a food was delivered at the Bhatia home on Saturday night, around 10:40 pm. No one was seen entering or leaving the house after that, until the neighbour who found the bodies on Sunday.
- The oldest member of the family, 77-year-old Narayan Devi, was found on the floor with signs of strangling. The others were hanging from a railing attached to the ceiling.
According to the police, two registers were found with handwritten notes on how to attain salvation.