Businessman said father’s spirit warned Burari family about mistakes

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Jul 11, 2018 06:50 PM IST

Ten of the 11 members of the ill-fated family were found hanging from an iron-mesh of the ceiling on July 1, while the body of 77-year-old family matriarch Narayan Devi was lying on the floor in another room of the house.

The handwritten notes found at the home of the family, which was found hanging in north Delhi’s Burari on July 1, talk about “wandering souls” and apprehensions they might not celebrate the next Diwali, a senior police official said on Tuesday.

Relatives mourn during the cremation of the 11 members of a family who were found hanging in their house in north Delhi’s Burari on July 1, 2018.(PTI)
Relatives mourn during the cremation of the 11 members of a family who were found hanging in their house in north Delhi’s Burari on July 1, 2018.(PTI)

Lalit Bhatia, one of two sons who was found dead, claimed his father’s spirit visited him and he would act and talk like him and write notes dictated by him, the official said.

Lalit, a 45-year-old businessman, mentioned “someone’s mistakes” was behind the family’s failure to “attain something” in a note dated November 11, 2017.

“Dhanteras aakar chali gayi. Kisi ki purani galti ke aabhaav se kuch prapti se door ho. Agli Diwali na mana sako. Chetavni ko nazar andaaz karne ke bajai gaur kiya karo (Dhanteras has already been celebrated. You have not achieved something due to someone’s past mistakes. You might not celebrate the next Diwali. Pay attention rather than ignoring the warnings),” the entry said.

Ten people, including Lalit, were found hanging from an iron grill, blindfolded and gagged and with their hands tied behind. His mother, 77-year-old Narayan Devi, was discovered dead on the floor in another room.

Devi’s other son Bhavnesh (50), daughters-in-law Savita (48) and Teena (42), daughter Pratibha (57), grandchildren Priyanka (33), Nitu (25), Monu (23), Dhruv (15) and Shivam (15). Priyanka was engaged last month and supposed to get married by the year-end.

The notes also talk about “other souls accompanying the spirit of Lalit’s father”, who died in 2007, and “how those spirits are still yearning for salvation.”

They “quoted” Lalit’s father as saying that the souls of other members of the extended family – Sajjan Singh, Hira, Dayanand, Ganga Devi - were among those with him.

Singh was Lalit’s father-in-law, Hira was the husband of his sister Pratibha, and Dayanand and Ganga Devi were in-laws of his sister Sujata Nagpal.

“Four souls are still wandering with me. If you improve yourself, these souls will be freed. You feel that by completing all the rituals in Haridwar, the souls achieve salvation. I am accompanied by the souls of others also,” said the note written in Hindi on July 19, 2015.

The notes also talked about “doing good deeds” and of “Dhruv’s phone addiction and how it’s not good”, besides about “one of the women of the family getting into frequent quarrels with others.”

They also mentioned the virtues of Lalit and Tina and asked the other family members to be like them, said the officer.

An entry also advised the family to read and “re-read the notes” and following the instructions in them, while also cautioning them against “worrying too much about Lalit.”

The notes warned about how the construction of the house was delayed and how Priyanka Bhatia’s ‘manglik dosh’ affected her marriage prospects as “someone did not follow what was written in the notes.”

The entries said that the spirit of Lalit’s father would not visit his son in the presence of outsiders in the house.

“This explains why Lalit did not show such behaviour when there were guests in the house for Priyanka’s engagement. During our questioning, we found that Lalit along with his wife exercised considerable control over the family,” the officer said.

Police have also found 11 diaries which had “psychological musings” and ways for attaining “road to God”. An analysis of the notes has suggested that they were written by Lalit since 2015.

“The handwritings match that of Lalit. The dates on which the notes had been taken were mentioned in many places. At others, it had been omitted. The frequency of writing the notes had increased since January. The last date mentioned in the notes is June 25,” an investigator said earlier.

The notes also suggest that the family had not only enlisted the steps in which they would hang themselves but also been rehearsing them to get it right when the time was ripe for the actual ritual, the investigator said.

A senior officer said on Tuesday over 200 people have been questioned in connection with the mysterious deaths even as the police are certain that it was a case of “mass suicide”.

The police are awaiting the final post-mortem report and will conduct a psychological autopsy to gain an insight into the psyche of the deceased.

(With agency inputs)

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