Two registers have been found with what appear to be instructions on death
New Delhi: A day after 11 of a family were found mysteriously dead in their home in Delhi, an autopsy has confirmed that all of them died because of hanging, without struggle. Earlier, the oldest member, 77-year-old Narayan Devi, was believed to have been strangled. The bodies of three generations of the Bhatia family were discovered in their home in north Delhi's Burari by a neighbour who found their grocery shop shut on Sunday morning. The police are yet to establish the sequence of the deaths. A case of murder has been filed after handwritten notes pointed at a spiritual or mystical link to the deaths; the notes include what appears to be a guide to attaining salvation.
The police say the notes contain details of a "badh puja" ritual, which means "everybody should hang like the branches of a banyan tree". Everybody should be on board, it was asserted in the jottings.
The notes said no one could use the phone, so six phones were left together on silent mode. The mobile phones were found in a cupboard, wrapped in a polythene bag.
According to the police, the "instructions" included choosing a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, "following rituals strictly" and perform a havan or ritual. "The more dedication, the better the result," said the notes.
The others were Narayan Devi's daughter Pratibha, 57, sons Bhavnesh, 50, and Lalit Bhatia, 45, and their families. Bhavnesh's wife Savita, 48, and their three children Meenu, 23, Neetu, 25, and 15-year-old Dhruv were found hanging. So were Lalit Bhatia's wife Tina, 42, and their 15-year-old son Shivam.
Pratibha's daughter Priyanka, 33, who was engaged to be married last month, was also hanging. An IT company employee, she was said to be excited about the wedding later this year. Narayan Devi had one more son and a daughter who lived away.
"I can't believe that they committed suicide. Everyone was so happy. Someone has killed my family and the police have to find them," said Sujata Nagpal who lived in Panipat with the family.
CCTV footage shows that a food was delivered at the Bhatia home on Saturday night, around 10:40 pm.
Around 11 pm, Priyanka chatted with her cousin about wedding shopping.