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Burari deaths: Family believed they won’t die, but would be saved by God

By Oneindia Staff Writer

New Delhi, July 3: Racing to unravel the mystery surrounding the deaths of 11 people at a north Delhi home, police have struck upon notes that suggest the Bhatia family might have been trying to replicate the "badh tapasya".

Police vehicles escort the ambulances carrying the bodies of 11 family members, who were found hanging at their residence in Burari area, to Nigambodh Ghat for cremation, in New Delhi

Police said the two registers found at a temple inside the house had notes mentioning 'salvation', 'badh tapasya' and 'shunya'.

"The notes state that if one follows a set of rituals, their problems would be solved and God would be happy. It seems that the rituals went awry. The notes mention how after climbing the stool and covering one's face and taping the mouth, and wrapping a chunni around one's neck, one has to climb down and help others," an officer privy to the probe said.

The notes mention about doing a 'jaap' before starting the rituals and thinking about 'shunya' so that other thoughts do not cloud their minds.

The oldest entry in the registers was made in August 2015 and the latest on June 30 this year. The family is believed to have performed the rituals on June 30, a day before the bodies were found.

"The earliest entries are about philosophical musings and religious beliefs. Every entry in the registers would begin with a 'shree'. There have been months when no entries were made," he said.

The officer said entries on rituals to please God to get the family's issues resolved began earlier this year. "There are notes on 'badh tapasya' in which people get into a banyan tree-formation whose branches hang around. The notes say that doing this would make God happy," he added. The notes ask the participants to "be cautious" when performing the rituals.

They say participants won't cook food at home and keep their phones on silent mode for six hours on the day they perform the rituals. The notes also instruct that one person has to stand guard to ensure others have hanged themselves, the official said. Police suspect the family had ordered food from outside and are trying to find from where they had ordered the food.

They detailed how by following the rituals, one would not actually die "but would be saved by God and attain something great". They had instructions on how an elderly person, who may face problem in climbing a stool, can perform the rituals. The notes also had specific instructions on how stools have to be used for climbing.

The 11 people aged between 15 and 77 were found dead in their home in Burari area on Sunday. The deceased had their mouth taped and their faces covered with cloth pieces cut from a single bed-sheet.

Except for a 77-year-old woman, the other 10 people were found hanging from the iron-mesh in the ceiling of the house.

Police are probing whether the family followed any godman, who might have issued the instructions found in the notes. The notes had stated that "the human body is temporary and one can overcome fear by covering their eyes and mouth".

Two members of the family, however, insisted on Monday that even though their family was religious, they did not believe in babas or tantriks and could not have committed suicide.

Police said the registers will be sent for forensic analysis to determine which family member made the entries or whether they were written by different members at different points of time.

They are scanning through the cell-phones of the deceased to know about the details of their Internet search history. The cellphones were found in an almirah and were wrapped in a polythene bag.

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