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What is the mystery behind Bhatia family’s death?

A happy joint family of Bhatias along with a pet dog and a big grocery shop on the ground floor while the family lived on the first floor. There was no disturbance, no debt or no tension but all the members died in one go. The house was renovated just a few months ago. Some mysterious 11 pipes were popping out of the house. The iron mesh was made for ventilation. Their Facebook images give a happy picture of the family. The family business was going fine. There were no fights within the family. They were all happy and busy with the wedding preparations. So why would they commit suicide at all?

No one knows what must have motivated the family to commit mass suicide. This mysterious death case of 11 members of a family is focused on the notes found in the house, which point at one man’s hallucinations and delusions of an impending catastrophe. Hard to believe that it was a suicide. Individuals at the age of 15, 23 and 25 years have their own thoughts and desires, which are influenced by the parents, friends, and education. Did not even one of these four think a little different?

The details match with the way the bodies were found — faces wrapped almost entirely, mouths taped and hands tied behind the back. It looks like the whole family is the victim of some long time conspiracy played for wealth and brainwash was happening for a long period of time. They all were provoked to attempt suicide. No evidence of a religious or occult ritual being conducted preceding the hanging ceremony was found. There were no occult practices without ceremony. How a person who is gagged, blindfolded and has his/her hands tied behind the back, can hang oneself? The report says, most of them were in this condition and were found hanging from a railing. The police say that the notes contain details of a “badh puja” ritual, which means that “everybody should hang like the branches of a banyan tree”. Everybody should be on board, it was asserted in the jottings.

The notes said no one could use the phone; so six phones were left together in the silent mode. The mobile phones were found in a cupboard, wrapped in a polythene bag. It also directed them to “choose a weekend to conduct this spiritual practice”, hence the family chose the Saturday night. Eyes were covered, the face was masked and cotton was kept in ears, they used rope, saari, and chunni. The mouth should be covered with two tapes handkerchief and a cloth. It should be performed between 12 am and 1 am. Everyone should cooperate and have faith in this practice.

According to the police, the “instructions” included choosing a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday and “following rituals strictly” and perform a havan or ritual. However, no one is sure who has written those notes or who kept those notes there — was it to misguide the family? What if someone deliberately placed the notes to give a suicide angle to the case? Assuming 10 people’s hands were tied by each other, who tied the last person’s hand and hanged him? Who brought tapes and ropes of such capacity? One needs to investigate these aspects. Yes, it is very sad to see such wrong faiths and consequences. Around 11 pm, Priyanka chatted with her cousin about wedding shopping. Was she unaware of her death by that time?

77-year-old Narayan Devi, found in her bed, also died because of hanging, the police believe. A rope was found hanging near her body and it is yet to be examined who took it off her neck. The police and media trials gave many theories; one of the investigations revealed that they bought sedatives and mixed it in the dinner. The killer had reportedly taken their dog from the house to the terrace. They are aiming to find the fingerprints of the killer on the leash of the dog. Further, the call records of the trio will be accessed in order to solve the case. The dog has been taken to the veterinary clinic in order to get the fingerprints. The others were Narayan Devi’s daughter Pratibha, 57, sons Bhavnesh, 50, and Lalit Bhatia, 45, and their families. Bhavnesh’s wife Savita, 48, and their three children Meenu, 23, Neetu, 25, and 15-year-old Dhruv were found hanging. So were Lalit Bhatia’s wife Tina, 42, and their 15-year-old son Shivam. Pratibha’s daughter Priyanka, 33, who had her engagement last month, was also found hanging. An IT company employee, she was said to be excited about the wedding later this year. Narayan Devi had one more son and a daughter who lived away. Only two who live outside Delhi are alive – Narayan Devi’s oldest son Dinesh, who lives in Rajasthan’s Kota, and another daughter Sujata, who lives with her family in Panipat. They are not ready to believe in this suicide theory.

But the Delhi Police Crime Branch reached to the conclusion. They discovered that Lalit Bhatia, who was among the 11 members of a family found dead, was mentally challenged. The investigating officers have cause to believe that he hallucinated that his dead father gave him orders to orchestrate the series of events, which lead to the shocking death of the entire family. The evidence and witness testimonies collected by the police prove that Lalit was often spotted talking to a picture of his father and used to keep searching for him. The father, Gopal Das Bhatia, was a former-army man and passed away 10 years ago. His father’s death had gravely affected him. He was hurt to such an extent that he had stopped talking to anybody. However, a few years ago, he started talking again and revealed that his dead father visits him in his dreams. Lalit used to note down his conversations with his father. At first, his mother Narayan Devi tried to counsel him but soon he made the entire family believe in his fantasies, Lalit used to frequently share his ‘conversations with the father’ with his family. There are many theories and trials without any authentic inputs — let’s see when and how the truth and motive behind this suicide be revealed!

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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