11 of family found dead in Delhi: Police say 'spiritual angle' to deaths
Delhi Police have suggested a "spiritual angle" to the deaths of 11 members of a family in Delhi's Burari.
Ten members of the family were found hanging in their home Sunday morning, while the matriarch of the family was found lying on the floor.
Police said the spiritual angle was suggested by hand-written letters recovered from the site.
Police added that the letters bore a "strong similarity" to the manner in which the eyes and mouths of the deceased were covered and taped.
The eyes and mouth of those found hanging were covered with cloth and taped. The woman found dead on the floor was not blindfolded. The hands and feet of the children were tied, police said.
The deceased were identified as Narayan Devi (77), who was found dead on the floor, her daughter Pratibha (57), her two sons Bhavnesh (50) and Lalit Bhatia (45).
Bhavnesh's wife Savita (48) and their three children — Meenu (23) and Nidhi (25), and Dhruv, aged 15.
Lalit Bhatia's wife Tina (42) and their 15-year-old son Shivam were also among those found dead.
Pratibha's daughter Priyanka (33), who was engaged last month and would have married by the end of this year, was also found hanging.
Bhavnesh ran a grocery store on the ground floor of the house. He used to open his shop around 6 am, the family's neighbour Amrik Singh said.
"Today, the shop was not opened till 7am. The milk van had arrived outside the shop. A couple of neighbours had gathered becaused the van driver was continuously honking. Then I opened the main gate and went upstairs. What I saw there left me shocked," said Gurcharan Singh, another neighbour.
Another area resident who had seen the bodies said: "They were all hanging with 'chunnis' while Lalit had a telephone wire wrapped around his neck."
After that, the residents called the police.
The case has been transferred to the Crime Branch.
Earlier today, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari visited the neighbourhood.
The family was into plywood business and also ran a grocery store. They were living in the locality for nearly 20 years, residents said.
The residents were in a state of shock after learning about the tragedy. Other members of the family alleged that they had been killed.
Narayan Devi had three sons and daughters. The eldest son Dinesh Bhatia lives in Kota, Rajasthan. Pratibha, who was younger to Dinesh but elder to Bhavnesh and and her other siblings, was a widow and was living with her brothers.
One of Narayan Devi's daughters, Sujata, lives in Panipat with her family.
"I can't believe that they committed suicide. Everyone was so happy. Someone has killed my family and the police have to find them," a sobbing Sujata said.
(With inputs from PTI)