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Burari Horror: Eerie Notebook Reveals Why 10 of the 11 Bodies Were Bound, Blindfolded and Gagged

Police said the notebook containing spiritual instructions was found next to a small temple. The notebook had instructions starting from 2017. It included directives on how to cope with fear and pain by covering the mouth and eyes with tape or cloth and tying hands.

Rounak Kumar Gunjan |

Updated:July 2, 2018, 10:36 AM IST
New Delhi: Ten hanging dead bodies surrounded by portraits of Hindu deities. An elderly woman lying dead with a slit throat and a notebook containing details of some occultist instructions. This was the scene of the biggest, and so far the most mysterious, murder case the Indian capital has witnessed this year.

Police investigation late on Sunday found hand-written notes in the crime scene that promised good fortune for the family if the eleven members were hanged to death exactly in the manner that they were murdered. The deceased were found blindfolded and their hands tied. Half the family members had their faces tilted upwards and the rest facing down. The bodies were found hanging from an iron grill.

The Bhatia house in New Delhi’s Sant Nagar in Burari bore a haunted look on Sunday morning till the police cordoned it off.

Police said the notebook containing spiritual instructions was found next to a home-made temple. The notebook had instructions starting from 2017.

It included directives on how to cope with fear and pain by covering the mouth and eyes with tape or cloth and tying hands. The last entry on June 25 refers to one of the dead, Lalit Bhatia, and how everyone should jump off the stools together at Lalit's instruction.

News18 spoke to the maid of the house who had stopped working for the family six years ago due to personal reasons. While she didn’t say as much, she hinted at an odd behaviour she felt her former employers had.

“All family members were extremely religious. The head of the household, Bhupi Bhatia, would often lose control of himself whenever there were religious functions. He would start saying incomprehensible things and often acted very weirdly,” said the maid.

The eldest member of the family, Narayan Bhatia, 77, was found lying dead in the room adjacent to the one that witnessed the other grotesque and inexplicable deaths. Police investigations have revealed that one of the family members had mixed sedatives in dinner before carrying out the crime.

“Cult groups consist of sick-minded people who are in need of pathological treatment. They seek no personal or physical gain out of this. They target vulnerable minded people and brain-wash them. They make them believe that they need to kill to attain a better life. In the garb of religion these groups hyptonise people and make them do such things,” said Dr. Rupa Murghai, a senior psychologist in Delhi, who has dealt with cases of cult groups earlier.

Police sources say that eleven family members, including seven females and four male members, were murdered by three of their own family members who later killed themselves.

“I have seen such cult groups sedate their subjects with drugs and make them do whatever they want. We cannot just mention cult groups and rule out the possibility of drug cartels behind this,” said Nalini Deka, psychologist in Delhi University.

The Bhatias owned a grocery store and a plywood shop and had recently sold off a third one ruling out the possibility of financial stress behind these deaths, as was suggested earlier. It was festive time for the family that hails from Rajasthan. The daughter, Priyanka Bhatia, was due to be married and was engaged exactly fifteen days ago.

This was the same grocery store that Bhatias' neighbour Gurcharan Singh visited early on Sunday morning for his daily consumption of milk. On having found the shop closed, he walked up to their house to find them hanging dead. He later called up the police and informed them about the incident.

A helper in the Bhatia plywood store, who was a regular visitor for the past decade, said, "Mr. Bhatia was a very jolly man. However, since the past week something had been visibly troubling him."

Multiple senior police officials speaking anonymously said that while there are criminal penal codes and sections to book murderers and rapists, there is no separate law to segregate those crimes committed under the garb of occult practices.

What complicates matters further is a victim's willing submission to tantriks or faith healers which makes it difficult to pin the culprit in court. There are usually no witnesses. Most perpetrators of these crimes take refuge in the name of religion, accusing the police of victimising their community if action is initiated action against them.

News18 also spoke to several neighbours who confirmed about the family’s inclination towards religion.

“They would hold frequent and grand functions. They used to invite many priests and only did whatever they told them. I remember for their daughter’s engagement everything was decided and instructed by the priests. Even the venue,” said a neighbour requesting anonymity.

The deceased were identified as Narayan Bhatia (75), her daughter Partibha (60), Partibha’s daughter Priyanka (30), Narayan’s older son Bhupi Bhatia (46), his wife Savita (42), their children Nitu (24), Meenu (22) and Dhiru (12), Narayan’s younger son Lalit Bhatia (42) and his wife Tina (38).

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