New Delhi: Eight of the 11 members of a family found dead in their home in north Delhi's Burari locality showed no signs of struggle and died as a result of hanging, officials said on Monday after the post-mortem of all the victims was completed.
While the preliminary report of eight victims is ready, the autopsy details of three are awaited.
Ten of the 11 members of the Bhatia family were found hanging from an iron-mesh in the ceiling yesterday, while the body of 77-year-old Narayan Devi, the head of the family, was lying on the floor in another room of the house.
"The post-mortem of all the 11 bodies has been carried out. Our team finished the process by 3 pm. Two boards were formed to expedite the post-mortem. The final report has been handed to the police," LNJP Hospital Medical Superintendent J C Passey told PTI.
He said the exercise began on Sunday and was carried out in two shifts -- 6 pm to 12 midnight and 9 am to 3 pm today.
The dead included Narayan Devi's two sons and their families as well as two 15-year-old boys.
The post-mortem of eight persons, including the two children and their grandmother, revealed there were no signs of strangulation or scuffle and they died as a result of hanging, a senior police officer said.
Though it was earlier suspected that Narayan died due to strangulation, doctors said she had died due to "partial hanging", a police officer asserted.
He added that a rope was found hanging near her body and it is being probed who took it off her neck.
"From the initial examination, it seems that they all died due to ante-mortem hanging. The final report is awaited," the officer said.
Handwritten notes found at the spot point to a possible suicide pact, carried out in accordance with a religious practice, he said.
Some of the notes stated that "one will not die" but attain something "great", the officer said.
Those who were found hanging had their mouth taped and their faces covered with cloth pieces cut from a single bed sheet. Only Narayan's face was not covered.
The deceased were identified as Narayan, who was found dead on the floor, her daughter Pratibha (57) and her two sons, Bhavnesh (50) and Lalit Bhatia (45).
Bhavnesh's wife Savita (48) and their three children - Meenu (23), Nidhi (25) and Dhruv (15) were among the deceased.
Lalit Bhatia's wife Tina (42) and their 15-year-old son Shivam were also among those found dead along with Pratibha's daughter Priyanka (33), who was engaged last month and was supposed to get married by the end of the year.
Locals said Meenu was preparing for entrance exams and Nidhi was pursuing her Masters.