India

Burari deaths: All 11 family members died of hanging, no ‘tantrik’ link found yet

The police is now planning to conduct a psychological autopsy of the deceased.

New Delhi: The Delhi Police on Thursday received the final autopsy report of Narayan Devi, 77, one of the 11 members of the Bhatia family who was found dead inside their Burari home in north Delhi on July 1.

The police would now ascertain whether three members of the family, whose hands were found loosely tied with rope, hanged themselves after tying others or they tried to free themselves.

The bodies of 10 members of the family were found hanging from an iron mesh attached to the ceiling on July 1, while that of Narayan Devi was found lying on the floor in another room of the house.

The initial autopsy report of Devi indicated that she died due to partial hanging.

Based on the evidence from the death spot, the police believed that Devi was hanged from a door handle. A cloth and a wire were found around her neck.

Alok Kumar, joint commissioner of police (crime), said that doctors who performed the autopsy have confirmed that she too died of hanging. “With this, the board of doctors have now confirmed that all the people in the house died due to hanging,” said Kumar, adding that nothing in the reports pointed to foul play.

The police had received the autopsy reports of the other 10 members on Tuesday. But the doctors took two additional days to arrive at an opinion on Devi’s death. “The board of doctors took their time and have given us a considered final opinion,” Kumar said about the delay.

Kumar said the manner of the deaths is consistent with the contents of the notes recovered from the Bhatia household. “The locations of the body, the way they were tied and many other factors are mentioned in the notes. CCTV footage too has indicated that they hanged themselves,” said Kumar.

The police also received a pseudonymous letter claiming that the Chundawat family was in touch with self-styled godman “bidi wale baba” of Karala. He was questioned yesterday but there were no links found between him and the Chundawat family, the police said.

“Till now, we have not found anything to indicate that the family was in touch with any godman or tantrik,” said the police officer.

Kumar said that they were planning to conduct a psychological autopsy of the deceased.

The viscera of the deceased, the handwriting samples and other exhibits would be sent for forensic examination tomorrow, the police said.

Narayan Devi’s daughter Pratibha (57) and two sons — Bhavnesh (50) and Lalit (45) — were among the deceased. Bhavnesh’s wife Savita (48) and their three children — Neetu (25), Maneka (23) and Dhirendra (15) — were also found dead.

The others found dead were Lalit’s wife Tina (42), their 15-year-old son Dushyant and Pratibha’s daughter Priyanka, who got engaged last month and was supposed to get married by the year-end.

The police said that the hands of Lalit, his wife Tina and his elder brother Bhavnesh were found tied loosely in the front, while the hands of the other members were tied behind their backs.

The police had also found 11 diaries, which contained “psychological musings” and certain things written about the “road to god”.

Kumar said the activities of the family were being documented in notes since 2007, when Devi’s husband Bhopal Singh died.

“There was a certain thought process since 2007. The deaths appear to be in continuity of the same thought process. The autopsy reports have given a direction to our probe,” he said.

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