NEW DELHI: Eleven members of a joint family, seven of them women and two children, were found dead early Sunday morning in Burari area of Delhi. Prima facie it appeared to be a case of suicide due to certain “spiritual/mystical” practice, the police said.
While 10 bodies were found hanging from an iron-mesh ceiling, that of a 77-year-old woman, the oldest member of the family was found in an adjacent room. The mouth and eyes of all the bodies found hanging were covered with cloth and taped, which suggested an occult angle to the deaths. The hands and feet of both children were tied as well.
While post-mortem reports are awaited, a Delhi police statement said: “The house was found to have been neither ransacked nor any precious item, including mobile phones found missing... During search of the house certain handwritten notes were found, which point towards observance of some spiritual/mystical practices by the whole family.”
The deceased were identified as Narayan Devi (77), her daughter Pratibha (57), her two sons Bhavnesh (50) and Lalit Bhatia (45); Bhavnesh’s wife Savita (48) and their three children - Meenu (23) and Nidhi (25), and Dhruv (15); and Bhatia’s wife Tina (42) and son Shivam (15). Bhavnesh ran a grocery store in the ground floor of their house and would open it at 6 am sharp.
“But the shop was not open till 7 am, which was unusual as he was very particular about timings. When we peeped into their house, we spotted the bodies,” said an eyewitness.Devi had three sons and two daughters. The eldest son Dinesh Bhatia lives in Kota. Apart from Pratibha, her other daughter Sujata lives in Panipat.A case of murder has been registered. It will be investigated by the crime branch.