Indian family may have hanged themselves for ‘spiritual salvation

Family of 11 may have hanged themselves for ‘spiritual salvation’: Police in India find notes saying that ‘peace’ is achieved if 11 people perform specific rituals

  • Police discovered the notes after 11 bodies were found in a home in New Delhi
  • The handwritten letters specifically mention 11 people carrying out rituals  
  • Four men, three women and four girls found with no bullet marks on their bodies

A family of 11 people who were all found dead on Sunday may have killed themselves for ‘spiritual salvation’, it has emerged.   

Police in New Delhi said they found 11 bodies in a home in the village of Burari on Sunday, 10 of them blindfolded and hanging from the roof. 

Today it was reported that police had found a set of handwritten notes which used spiritual phrases such as: ‘The human body is temporary and one can overcome fear by covering the eyes and mouth’. 

The letters say that a group of 11 people had to follow certain rituals to attain ‘salvation’ after the death of the human body, NDTV reported. 

Police in New Delhi said they found 11 bodies in a home in the village of Burari on Sunday, 10 of them blindfolded and hanging from the roof. Pictured: the Bhatia family 

Some members of the Bhatia family, which has been identified as the family involved

Brothers Bhavnesh Bhatia, 50, and Lalit Bhatia, 45, daughter-in-laws Savita Bhatia, 48 and Teena Bhatia, 42, her daughter Pratibha, 57, grandchildren Priyanka, 33, Nitu, 25, Monu, 23, Dhruv, 15 and Shivam, 15 were all found dead at the house. 

Narayana Devi, the family’s 77-year-old grandmother, was found in another room. 

Some of the victims – four men, three women and four girls – also had their mouths taped and their hands and feet tied as well as being blindfolded, it is claimed. 


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One of the officers apparently said: ‘The notes say if a group of 11 people follows these rituals, all problems would ease out and they would attain salvation. 

‘Some notes have dates on which they were written while others didn’t have it. All the notes talk about reaching the end and gaining peace.’

Another officer said: ‘We have found handwritten notes detailing how hands and legs are to be tied and are quite similar to the manner in which the bodies of 10 persons were found.’

The victims belonged to a family and most had lived in one home in Burari village in the northern part of New Delhi, said police officer Vineet Kumar. Pictured: Police at the scene

The ‘exhaustive’ notes were now being examined, he said.  

Police, who had earlier begun a murder investigation after initially saying no suicide note was found, are now said to be looking into possible spiritual connections.  

There were no bullet marks on the bodies of the victims, and there was no sign of forced entry into the house, police said yesterday.

But relative Ketan Nagpal said: ‘They were not facing any financial issues and had not taken even a single loan. Everything was fine. Why would they kill themselves? ‘

Ten bodies, blindfolded by cotton and pieces of cloth, were found hanging from an iron grill used as a ventilator in the home’s courtyard, while the body of a 70-year-old woman was lying on the floor of the house, a police official said.

The family had been living in the house for more than two decades, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported. It said the house belongs to a businessman who ran a plywood shop and dairy.

Indian policemen secure the area near a building where 11 family members were found dead inside their home in the neighbourhood of Burari in New Delhi

The newspaper said that at around 8 a.m. Sunday, a neighbor with whom the businessman used to go for morning walks went to see him and found the door of the house open and the 10 people, including the businessman, hanging. 

He raised an alarm and people called the police.

‘It is a tragic incident. Police are investigating. … Let’s wait for their investigation to be over,’ said New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who visited the scene. 

‘In a video posted on Twitter by Kejriwal’s ruling party, the neighbors are heard telling Kejriwal that the family was busy with wedding preparations.

On June 18, three people were killed and five were injured when members of rival gangs fired at each other in the main Burari market. Police said the two gangs are headed by men whose enmity goes back to 2013.

While police are yet to establish any connection between the two incidents, the investigation will consider all possible aspects, a senior police officer who is handling the gang war case told Reuters.

The family was living in the house for more than two decades, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported. It said the house belongs to a businessman who ran a plywood shop and dairy

Police official Rajesh Khurana told reporters that all angles were being investigated. ‘We can’t rule out anything,’ he said

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