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Burari mass suicide: Week-long ‘thanksgiving ritual’ led to death of family, Delhi police suspect

Burari mass suicide: Week-long ‘thanksgiving ritual’ led to death of family, Delhi police suspect: After analysed the handwritten notes which was recovered from the Burari house where 11 family members from the same house and same family were found dead on Sunday, and reviewed CCTV footage from the neighbourhood, the Delhi Police on Wednesday claim this “ritual” was part of a seven-day “thanksgiving ceremony” in which death wasn’t ever store in the picture.

The Bhatia family was very confident, though, that they would survive the ceremony, which prescribed a ritualistic hanging, that had even planned to repeat the ritual with a relative who were having some problems in their lives and in their house, the police added further.

“As per the notes, the family’s next plan was to replicate the ritualistic exercise with Tina’s sister Mamta. However, Mamta wasn’t aware of what they had planned for her,” said the officer.

“Still, we are looking for a possible outside influence,” the police said.

The CCTV footage from a neighbour’s house has also display that the women members of the family, Savita and her daughter Neetu, bringing stools to the house at around 10pm in the night, on Saturday; 15-minutes later, 15-year-olds Dhruv and Shivam are seen fetching cables from the family’s plywood shop. “The stools and cables were among the items used in the hanging,” said an investigator.

The dead included 77-year-old Narayan Devi, her two sons Bhavnesh (50) and Lalit (45), their wives Savita (48) and Tina (42) respectively, a daughter Pratibha (57) and five grandchildren, Priyanka (33), Neetu (25), Monu (23), Dhruv and Shivam. Police said autopsy reports of Narayan, Bhavnesh and Pratibha said that the threesome died because of the “partial hanging”.

On Sunday itself, the police had recovered some notebooks which described about the rituals dissonantly similar to the state in which the bodies were found. On Tuesday, they recovered nine more registers and hundreds of loose pages, which described and writes about the descriptions of rituals.

The fresh notes revealed that the writings belonged to at least three different persons, which is consists of Lalit and Priyanka.

Police said the ritualistic activities started in July 2007; a few months after the death of the family’s head Bhopal Singh.

The death had left the family shattered and Bhopal’s third son Lalit Bhatia was mostly affected. It was during that difficult phase that Lalit started telling to his family that he was possessed by his dead father’s soul and also proclaimed himself head of the family as he possessed by his dad, reportedly.

All the other members of the house, except his mother, addressed him as ‘daddy’,” said a second police officer.

Until then, the family was troubled by infighting and financial woes, but as Lalit eventually convinced his family into believing his “reincarnation theory”, the family’s problems gradually vanished, as the notes said so.

“Financial suggestions such as investment ideas by Lalit yielded rewards. Peace prevailed in the family and their business multiplied,” said the investigator.

The family was very happy as the elder Priyanka’s marriage was fixed with a software engineer and her engagement also took place on June 17, Lalit said that the family should observe seven-day thanksgiving ceremony as Priyanka’s marriage was fixed, but since the family was hosting relatives so they wait till 23rd June, and after the guest left, the family think about the thanksgiving week. “Keeping the ceremony a top secret was part of the ritual,” the officer added further.

“The first six days, according to the notes, involved rehearsals in which they would bind their limbs, blindfold themselves and tie the noose around their necks. CCTV footage confirms the stools and cables were brought in on the last day,” said the officer.

On the seventh day, they were decided to hang themselves, but as per their trust they will be survive, police told. The hanging, they believed, can help them meet the supernatural power — and in this case, the dead patriarch will be surely going to help them.