Delhi Burari deaths: Postmortem reveals 10 members of Bhatia family had hung themselves; no injury marks on bodies

Days after the bodies of 11 members of a family were found in Delhi's Burari area on 1 July, the postmortem report of 10 members revealed that they had hung themselves with no injury marks on their bodies, Delhi Police said. The report of the eleventh and the eldest member of the Bhatia family Narayani Devi is awaited, her body was found on the floor unlike the other members, ANI reported.

"The final opinion states that the family members died due to ante-mortem hanging. We are waiting for Narayan Devi's report," a senior police officer added. Narayani Devi's initial report had said she died due to "partial hanging", he added.

Earlier, on Tuesday, a team of doctors had revisited the crime spot to gather more evidence to ascertain the real cause of death, Times Now said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

On 4 July, the police had ruled out the involvement of any self-styled godman. It earlier found that the family had started following a Kondli-based godman, but nothing substantial was found on that front. The police recovered a third register with notes about "salvation", "shunya" and "appeasing God".

Some loose sheets of paper were also found containing notings from 2008, which indicated that Lalit Bhatia had turned towards spiritualism after his father's death that year. The policemen questioned 20 family members, including the matriarch's eldest son, her daughter and one of her deceased daughters-in-law's sisters, all of whom denied that the family indulged in "occult", said a senior police officer.

The police have also suspected that the Bhatia family might have been suffering from 'shared psychosis.' The police expressed the suspicion even as the victims' neighbours said the ill-fated family members were very helpful, though they mostly kept to themselves and never talked about their family matters.

However, relatives of the family have maintained that it wasn't a case of suicide and the persons were killed. They have also dismissed reports that there was a "spiritual" angle to the deaths.

On 1 July, 10 of the 11 members of the Bhatia family were found hanging from an iron-mesh in the ceiling, while the body of 77-year-old Narayani Devi, the head of the family, was lying on the floor in another room of the house. Devi's daughter Pratibha (57), her two sons Bhavnesh (50) and Lalit Bhatia (45) were also among the deceased. Bhavnesh's wife Savita (48) and their three children — Meenu (23), Nidhi (25), and Dhruv, aged 15, were also found dead. Lalit Bhatia's wife Tina (42) and their 15-year-old son Shivam were also among those found dead, while Pratibha's daughter Priyanka (33), who was engaged last month and would have married by the end of this year, was also found hanging.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jul 11, 2018 18:34 PM

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