Delhi

Burari deaths: rituals could have been on since June 24

Relatives of the deceased Bhatia family outside their house at Burari on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The family may have been performing the rituals and consequent hanging for six days before the incident, the notes written in the register show. Police have also found another notebook on Tuesday in addition to the two registers found earlier.

In an undated entry which the police suspect was written after or on June 23 after all the relatives left, the note reads, “Saat din badh tapasya lagatar karni hai [Banyan tree puja rituals have to be carried out for seven days]”. The note then goes on to explain the sequence in which the rituals need to be performed after which all of them need to help a relative who is named in the note.

“Going by the notes, it is a possibility that they were performing it every day since June 24 and June 30 happened to be the seventh day. However, it is difficult to ascertain how they survived for six days and what led to the death on the seventh day,” a senior police officer said adding that the relative’s matter is sensitive and cannot be revealed.

“According to investigation, the rituals were not just being performed for the relative but for other family-related reasons like progress at their shop and general well-being,” he said.

Chilling details

There is another entry which states that the hands were earlier in a worship position and they now have to be tied which led the cops to suspect that, on day seven, the tied hands led to the deaths. The note also hints at people helping each other to come down after standing on a stool and hanging themselves from the ceiling.

Utaarne main sab ek doosre ki sahayata kar sakte hain [You can help each other to come down,” it states.

After the note explains the whole sequence including tying of cloth on each other, leaving the mother out of hanging, making one of the woman stand on a stool at the frame of their house temple, order and eat chapattis after 10 p.m. and perform the rituals around 1 a.m., it has a rather chilling end. “Fill a container with water. Keep touching the water and if it changes colour, if it changes colour, I will come,” it ends.

One of the entries also states that the rituals should not be performed if someone visits the house.

First entry on 2013

In the newest notebook which the police have, the first entry was made on May 23, 2013, and the last on December 4, 2014. After a gap of few months, the first entry in the two registers was on August 2, 2015 and the last, on the day of the incident. Sources said that the search is still on to find if there are more such writings.

The first note written in 2013 talks about realising mistakes, learning from them, and not feel bad about them. “Respect your present, your future will be good… the time gone by is gone and the time to come is yet to come,” it states.

Sources said that the relatives of the family were questioned and asked about the handwriting in the three notebooks but none of them identified them as Lalit Bhatia’s, 45-year-old son of Narayan Devi (77), who is suspected to be delusional. “There are two handwritings in the notebooks. It is suspected that Lalit used to say all this and one of the women used to write,” the officer said.

Different voices

Neighbours allegedly told police that Lalit used to often talk in his father’s voice as if he was possessed. “There are people who have said that on many occasions, Lalit used to take a vow of silence for months and that he would talk in different voices including his father’s,” the officer said adding that recently he behaved absolutely normal and no documents on his mental health have been found.

On many occasions in the three notebooks, the police have found a sentence written, “Copy ki baat suno [Listen to what the notebook says]”.


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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 1:22:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/burari-deaths-rituals-could-have-been-on-since-june-24/article24324162.ece

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