All 11 found mysteriously dead in their home in Delhi on Sunday hanged themselves and it was one man in the family who possibly talked them into what turned into a "mass suicide", the police suspect. There is evidence that the family members didn’t believe they would die, that they thought god would save them. Piecing together details of the autopsy and writings found in the house in Burari, the police said Lalit Chundawa, the son of 77-year-old Narayani Devi, was the "brain" behind the deaths. The police suggest the suicides were the result of a "shared psychotic episode".
Here are some new details emerging from the Burari deaths case:
- None of the bodies bear any sign of struggle. Some members of the family are believed to have helped others hang themselves, according to notes that filled two big notebooks found by the police.
- The members were found hanging from a mesh in their ceiling in the hallway, all close together. Details in the notebooks match how they were found – faces wrapped almost entirely, ears plugged with cotton, mouths taped and hands tied behind the back. There were five stools, probably shared by the 10 members.
- In the notes found in diaries, it was written that "everyone will tie their own hands and when the kriya (ritual) is done then everyone will help each other untie their hands. This indicates that most of the family may have been led to believe they would be alive after the ritual.
- Narayani Devi, described in the diary as "bebbe", was on the floor. The police suspect someone took off her noose and arranged her after she died.
- At night, the family ordered 20 rotis, which were delivered around 10.40 pm. The notes had said that food had to be ordered for the ritual and Narayani Devi would feed everyone rotis.
- It has emerged that Lalit Chundawa, 45, had been hallucinating about his father Gopaldas, who had died 10 years ago.
- He allegedly believed his father wanted to lead the family to salvation and had been writing down "instructions" since 2015.
- Those who died were Narayan Devi’s sons Lalit and Bhavnesh, their families and children including two 15-year-old boys; Narayan Devi’s daughter and granddaughter Priyanka, 33, who had been engaged on June 17 and was to marry later this year.
- One of the entries read: "I will come tomorrow or day after. If I don’t then I will come later. Don’t worry about Lalit, when I come he becomes tense."
- The police have denied the role of any "godman" in the suicides, as some reports suggested, because of the fact that the main door was open.
- Source: NDTV