Delhi family deaths: Occult ritual may have gone awry

Shocked neighbourhood:  Neighbours gather in large numbers near the house-cum-shop in Burari, Delhi, where 11 persons of a family were found dead on Sunday.

Shocked neighbourhood: Neighbours gather in large numbers near the house-cum-shop in Burari, Delhi, where 11 persons of a family were found dead on Sunday.

The police have registered a murder case after 11 persons of a family were found dead under mysterious circumstances in north Delhi’s Burari area on Sunday. According to the police, evidence found in the house suggest that the family may have been practising an occult ritual that may have gone awry.

“The dead included four males and seven females. They belong to the same family and used to practise spirituality,” said Vinit Kumar, ADCP (North).

The deceased were identified as Narayan Devi, 77; her two sons Bhavnesh, 50, and Lalit, 45; her daughters-in-law Savita, 48, and Teena, 42; her daughter Pratibha, 57; and her grandchildren Priyanka, 33, Nitu, 25, Monu, 23, Dhruv, 15, and Shivam, 15.

The police said the family owned a grocery shop in the building where they stay. On Sunday morning, a neighbour, who used to purchase milk from their shop every day at 6 a.m., found it closed. When he went to investigate, he found the bodies. He rushed out, raised an alarm and informed the police.

‘Hand-written notes’

“The house was neither ransacked nor any item, including mobile phones found disturbed or missing. The gold jewellery on the bodies of the females was found intact,” said Mr. Kumar. During a search of the house, certain hand-written notes were found pointing to the observance of some definite spiritual/mystical practices by the whole family, the police said.

“We have found hand-written notes detailing how hands and legs are to be tied and the manner in which the bodies of the 10 persons were found reflected what was written in the notes. They are exhaustive notes and we are studying them,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Alok Kumar said.

Another officer said the notes were found in registers. “They talk about how a person can overcome fear by covering the eyes and the mouth, how a person can attain salvation, and how the human body is temporary but the soul continues to live on,” he said.

“The notes talk about if a group of 11 people follows these rituals, all problems would ease out and they would attain salvation. Some notes have dates on which they were written while others don’t. All the notes talk about reaching the end and gaining peace,” one of the investigators said.

The neighbours said that the Bhatias were a spiritual lot. They used to write a spiritual message on a board outside their house every day. “I used to visit their grocery shop every morning to buy milk and every day I read the message. They were regular in putting it up and it was a kind of a habit for everyone in the locality to read them,” said Simran Kaur, a neighbour.

Locals said that it never appeared that the Bhatias were into any mystical practice that could harm them. The family visited the nearby gurudwara every day. They were polite and friendly to everyone.

The family was well-educated and doing well in business. One of the deceased Priyanka Bhatia was employed with an MNC in Noida.

“Children in the house were disciplined and studious. They were never seen roaming on the street,” said Bhupendra, a neighbour.

(With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 3:39:49 pm |