Burari deaths: Family thought 'earth will shake and they will be saved'

Blanche Robertson
July 6, 2018

While the probe backed the "mass suicide" theory, a fresh development in the Burari deaths case has left many questions unanswered. "Shared psychosis means that delusional beliefs are transmitted from one person to another. We suspect Lalit wrote these notes and guided the other family members in the ritualistic activities", said another officer probing the case.

They might rope in a psychiatrist to understand the psyche of the family.

One of the notes recovered from the house clearly stated that Gopal Das Bhatia would come and save the family at the last moment.

"The family mostly kept to themselves".

The fiancé of recently-engaged Priyanka told cops she showed no suspicious signs and would often discuss their upcoming wedding. The one person, who has a dominating personality, is the active member who makes the family follow his/her belief.

"Initially, we also found it a little weird because there was no water connection there". Relatives had earlier said it was unlikely anyone from the family would move into the house.

Police sources said the footage was recovered from a camera installed in a neighbouring house. They behaved normally and I couldn't say if they were tense or in a hurry. "Lalit would often speak in his dead father's voice and tone and would claim that he could see his father", said the investigator. He said that nothing in her behaviour indicated that she was thinking of committing suicide. Locals said Meenu was preparing for entrance exams and Nidhi was pursuing her Masters.

The relatives of the family denounced the police and the media for allegedly labelling the deceased as some sort of religious maniacs and demanded a CBI probe into the case.

Ketan Nagpal, a maternal grandson of deceased septuagenarian Narayani Devi, said: "Every Hindu family worships and performs "havans", "paath" and "kirtans" and so did our family". That is so common in every household and temples. The odd deaths, first-ever kind of a crime scene, has left people in a state of shock.

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"My family wouldn't have taken the decision of suicide".

"The stools were purchased five days ago".

They've also seized more notes purportedly made by Lalit Bhatia, the son and the apparent family head who led such rituals. After the ritual was over, everyone was to untie each other.

Police have obtained post mortem reports of six individuals and going by that murder seems to be a less likely chance. Lalit started writing in the register in 2015 after which some pages were found to be blank. Some notes were written on June 27 and 28 on the day of "Vat Purnima".

"Lalit Bhatia was last seen entering the house on the night of the incident. The notes pointed at one man's hallucinations and delusions of an impending apocalypse", he said.

Police sources said the investigation so far has led the crime branch team to believe that Lalit suffered from a psychotic ailment and used to hallucinate and get visions of his late father Gopal Das Bhatia.

Unable to trace a godman under whose influence 11 members of a Delhi family are suspected to have committed mass suicide, the police now think it was Lalit Bhatia, one of the family members that drove them to hang themselves, believing they will be saved by some force.

As per the preliminary post-mortem reports, all family members died of hanging on Sunday. They include 75-year-old Narayan Devi, her daughter, two sons, their wives and five grandchildren aged between 33 and 15.

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