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Burari hangings: Man who allegedly led rituals liked watching ghost shows

Burari hangings: Lalit Bhatia used to research on death and mysteries of soul. As per his mobile phone details, he often watched paranormal and ghost shows on ‘You Tube’ and other Internet platforms

delhi Updated: Jul 05, 2018 15:18 IST
Burari hangings,Lalit Bhatia,Ghost shows
Police investigators and psychologists believe Lalit Bhatia led his family to death and was suffering from a delusional disorder.(HT Photo)

Lalit Bhatia, a 45-year-old businessman who led a ritual in which 10 members of his family died in Delhi’s Burari on Sunday, liked watching ghost shows on YouTube.

He used to research on death and mysteries of soul. As per his mobile phone details, he often watched paranormal and ghost shows on ‘You Tube’ and other Internet platforms,” a police officer said.

The family that was found hanging in their north Delhi house on July 1 began preparations at least 10 days before its alleged “mass suicide”, the officer added.

The officer said Crime Branch investigators believe that Lalit Bhatia and his wife Tina tied the hands and legs of other family members before all of the them hung themselves from an iron grill on a ceiling of a corridor during a ritual prayer.

“The line of investigation is focused on the role of Lalit and his wife,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Joy N. Tirkey said.

“The Crime Branch, which is examining the CCTV footage of the last two months, has found couple involved in suspicious activities. The couple was seen carrying goods used in ritual prayers from June 23 to 30,” he added.

“It was found in investigation that generally the family used to send one of their servants to purchase household goods,” the officer said.

“Lalit Bhatia was last seen entering the house on the night of the incident. He was seen walking in the street with family pet dog which was chained in a room on the second floor during the ritual prayer. Their neighbour said that the family generally unleashed the dog during night hours and the pet was seen barking loudly on the fateful night,” he said.

“Like his late father Gopaldass, who was in the Indian Army, Lalit gave all family members training in discipline, code of conduct, rehearsals of dos and don’ts during ritual practices. As per an entry in one of the registers seized from the house, he also instructed family members often to stand to position like soldiers after morning prayers for increasing mental strength,” the officer added.

“Lalit daily recalled the previous day’s chores and listed activities in his registers and made lists of things on which he had instructed other family members to follow,” he added.

The police officer said visera reports were expected within 10 to 15 days, which will tell if the family’s food was laced with sedatives before their deaths.

“We will take help of psychology and paranormal experts as prima facie we suspect it to be a case of shared psychotic disorder,” he said.

Septuagenarian Narayani Devi and her 10 family members were found hanging in their house on Sunday when a neighbour went to check on them.

First Published: Jul 05, 2018 14:28 IST