The post-mortem report of 10 members of the Chundawat family, found dead in their home in Delhi on July 1, has confirmed that they died due to hanging, a senior police officer said today. How the family's oldest member, 77-year-old Narayani Devi, died is yet to be clearly confirmed by doctors.
Narayani Devi's daughter, two sons, their wives and children were all found hanging from the ceiling of their house in Burari in north Delhi, all of them with their faces bandaged, mouths duct-taped and their hands tied behind their back. Only Narayani Devi was found lying on the floor in another room.
An initial report had said she died due to "partial hanging".
The post-mortem report of the rest of the family, including two 15-year-old children, confirms that they all died due to hanging and no external injury marks were found on the bodies except for a few scratches.
"The final opinion states that the family members died due to ante-mortem hanging. We are waiting for Narayan Devi's report," said a police officer.
According to the police, doctors are yet to agree on the way Narayani Devi died; on Tuesday, a team of doctors visited the house for possible clues. The doctors are expected to give a final report after discussions.
Investigations indicate that the family hadn't expected to die and intended to repeat the ritual that they thought would improve their lives. Eleven diaries found at the house, filled with handwritten notes, have revealed that the family was influenced by the delusions of one man, Lalit Chundawat, 45, Narayani Devi's younger son. The last entry on June 30 revealed detailed steps described as "the road to God".
On the night of their death, the Chundawats were allegedly following a "thanksgiving ritual" after Priyanka, the 30-year-old granddaughter of Narayani Devi, got engaged on June 17 after a long search for a groom. She was to be married later this year.