Burari deaths: 11 water pipes, 11 iron rods spook locals and cops after 11 of family found dead

The presence of the pipes, some of them turned downwards, came across as unusual since they were not connected to any water inlet or outlet.
A view of 11 pipes protruding out of the house where 11 members of the Bhatia family allegedly committed suicide, at Burari in New Delhi.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
A view of 11 pipes protruding out of the house where 11 members of the Bhatia family allegedly committed suicide, at Burari in New Delhi.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jul 03, 2018 07:20 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByShiv Sunny and Karn Pratap Singh

A day after 11 members of a north Delhi family were found dead in their home, 11 plastic pipes protruding out of a wall of the house left the neighbourhood spooked and the police investigating.

The presence of the pipes, some of them turned downwards, came across as unusual since they were not connected to any water inlet or outlet. It also triggered rumours surrounding the number 11 when a set of 11 rods on an iron gate at the house’s entrance were also spotted.

“It is possible that the 11 pipes were meant to allow the souls of the 11 occupants to escape from the house,” said Jatin Balyan, a passerby who stopped to take a look. “They may have been toilet pipes, one for each member,” guessed Sukesh Tyagi, a resident of Sant Nagar, Burari.

According to Ahmed Ali, a carpenter who worked with the family which had a plywood business, the pipes and the iron gates were put up in the last three-four months. “The house was undergoing construction and renovation. When I asked the family about the pipes, the family said they would serve as ventilation,” said Ali.

The side of the wall from which the pipes were protruding out stares at an empty plot of land that does not belong to the family. “The family knew that they couldn’t open a window at that end, so they decided to leave some scope for the air to pass through the pipes. When I asked them about it, they said the pipes would be removed later,” said Ali.

But even Ali could not explain the logic behind the number of the pipes. “I remember that at least four of those pipes were not open. I don’t know the reason behind the decision to install 11 pipes,” Ali said, adding that neither were the pipes connected to a washroom, nor to a source of water.

Another local carpenter guessed that the pipes could have been placed to prevent dampening of the wall, but couldn’t offer an explanation about the number.

Others had different explanations. “I had asked Lalit Bhatia about the pipes. He told me that it would serve as ventilation to allow the foul smell from his stock of plywood to escape the room. But he did not store any plywood on the upper floor of his house,” said Devesh Malik, a neighbour and family friend. “He said the pipes would act as an exhaust, but now the count sounds spooky,” Malik added.

Some locals suggested that a ‘hawan’ (religious ritual) will be performed in the neighbourhood. “Ye bhutiya colony lag rahi hai (This appears to be a ghostly colony),” said Shobhit Tyagi, a local resident. But Malik said only a handful of people were propagating ghost stories, which have been dismissed by most of the residents.

An investigator said that the handwritten notes which were recovered from the house on Sunday were being scanned for any reference to the pipes or the number 11.

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