Burari psychological autopsy confirms suicide

The psychological autopsy report of the 11 members of the Bhatia family, who were found dead in north Delhi’s Burari on July 1, has ‘corroborated’ the police’s findings that all of them committed suicide, police said on Thursday.

The Delhi Police’s crime branch on Wednesday evening had received the report from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which was approached for its inputs on the death.

The people found dead in the Bhatia house were 77-year-old Narayan Devi, her sons Bhavnesh Bhatia (50) and Lalit Bhatia (45), their wives Savita (48) and Tina (42) respectively, a daughter Pratibha (57) and five grandchildren, Priyanka (33), Neetu (25), Monu (23), and Dhruv and Shivam (both 15).

While 10 of them were found hanging in the drawing room of the house, Devi was found lying dead in an adjacent room. Strangulation marks on Devi’s neck had prompted the police to register a murder case.

However, the post-mortem of the bodies had confirmed they had all committed suicide, police had said.

The police are yet to receive the viscera report of the 11 dead people which is necessary to rule out the possibility of one or more members of the family being poisoned. Once the police receive the viscera reports, they will submit all the findings in court and wait for their orders on how to proceed in the case.

According to a senior investigator, the CBI went through the numerous diaries found at the Bhatia house and spoke to relatives, friends and neighbours of the family to conclude that they had died while performing a ritual that they believed would help them meet a long-dead patriarch.

“The psychological autopsy conducted by the CBI is consistent with our findings. It confirms that for over a decade, one of the family members, Lalit Bhatia, had been writing on or dictating ritualistic practices to other relatives,” said the investigator.

The CCTV footage of the family members bringing stools and wires to hang themselves further convinced the police that these were suicides. The notes left behind suggested that the family had expected to be saved by their dead patriarch the moment they hanged themselves.

First Published: Sep 14, 2018 03:03 IST

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