NEW DELHI: The relatives of the Bhatia family who was found dead in Delhi's Burari on Sunday have filed a police complaint claiming that it not a case of suicide. The relatives have claimed that the family had never been under the influence of any occultist. "We have filed a police complaint because this isn't a suicide case. I don't believe in media reports. They had never been in contact with any 'baba'," Bhatia family's relative Dinesh said.
He also rubbished reports of the 11 pipes in the house having any relation with the deaths. "The pipes in the wall might have been for ventilation," he added.
Sujata Nagpal, the daughter of the 77-year-old Narayan Devi found dead on the floor, said the media was speculating things and circulating suicide theories. "I used to speak to my mother every alternate day. Everything was going fine within our family. We are a well-educated family and do not believe in babas. It is not a case of suicide. The media has been speculating things and publishing wrong information that my family members committed suicide," she said.
Another relative, Manoj Bhatia said, "I am in a complete state of shock. They weren't staunch in their religious beliefs. We still cannot understand the reason (of the deaths) but this is definitely not a case of suicide."
Devi's niece Geeta Thakral suspected that someone from outside the family was involved in the deaths. "They were religious like any other normal family. After hearing about various cases involving babas and tantriks, our family hardly believed in them," she said.
Police have been hinting at the deaths being a case of mass suicide which the 11 members had pre-planned. The police have recovered 11 pipes from the house which they found mysterious due to their placement.
What the police found suspicious was that the placement of the 11 pipes is similar to the placement of how the bodies were found from the house. The police are trying to ascertain whether the four pipes placed in a different way signify the male members while the others denote the female members of the family. One of the pipes is placed away from the others, raising suspicions of whether that has any relation to the body of the elderly woman found on the floor of the house.
As per the police, they have also recovered two registers from the house in which the family has scribbled things about getting salvation (moksha). The register allegedly specifies a pattern in which the family was planning to commit suicide.
The police also believe that the deaths might have some relation to their prayers to get salvation. The family was allegedly writing notes in these registers since 2015 and had even listed the date of their death.
Following the initial investigation into the case, the police said, “During the search of the house, certain hand-written notes have been found which point towards observance of some definite spiritual/mystical practices by the whole family.”
The handwritten notes stated, "the human body is temporary and one can overcome fear by covering their eyes and mouth".
“Coincidentally, these notes have a strong similarity with the manner in which the mouths, eyes etc of the deceased were tied and taped. The same is being investigated further to establish its links with the deaths,” a police official said.
While 10 bodies were found hanging from the roof in the courtyard of the house, the body of Narayana, a 75-year-old woman, was found on the floor. The bodies were blindfolded and gagged.