NEW DELHI: The family from Burari in Delhi which had been found dead under mysterious circumstances had just one living member in the house at the time of the mass deaths, their pet dog Tommy. However on Sunday, Tommy also died of cardiac arrest due to 'shock' at an animal shelter home in Noida.
Tommy, an Indian pitbull mix breed aged above seven, was found tied to a grill when the eleven members of the family were found dead in Burari. Sanjay Mohapatra, a Noida-based animal rights activist, was taking care of the dog said that he had shown signs of improvement and had gained weight since the tragedy came to light on July 1.
"He had food around 4 pm. He was playing around and was taken for a walk by one of our employees around 5 pm. As Tommy was entering the gate after his walk, he suddenly collapsed. We brought him inside and the doctor examined him but he died," Mohapatra said.
The activist said he informed the Noida and Delhi Police after Tommy's death. He also informed about Tommy's death to Prashant Singh Chundawat, the grandson of Narayan Devi.
The activist said Tommy's post-mortem was carried out on Monday morning at a district hospital in Noida and the doctors were of the view that he died of "shock" which led to a cardiac arrest. Later, a prayer was performed and Tommy was laid to rest. Mohapatra said they would open a large animal out-patient department at his shelter home in memory of Tommy.
Prashant Chundawat had requested Mohapatra to "train the dog" so that he could take him home. He often made video calls to see Tommy and stayed in touch about Tommy's health.
"In all these years, we were not very attached to him. Whenever we would visit our Burari home, he would be tied upstairs since he was very aggressive. He was very close to my elder kaka (Bhavnesh, who was among the deceased)," Prasant recalled.
"I had requested Sanjay to train him so that we could take him back. He was the last surviving member of our family and we wanted to take care of him. Pets usually do not survive without their owners and in this case, Tommy was quite close to our family members living in our Burari home, so it must have been difficult for him," Prashant Chundawat said.
The animal activist had learnt about the dog through news channels and then contacted the police. After completing the legal formalities, he had brought the dog to his animal care centre in Noida.
Ten of the 11 members of the ill-fated family were found hanging from an iron-mesh of the ceiling on July 1, while the body of 77-year-old family matriarch Narayan Devi was lying on the floor in another room of the house. Her daughter Pratibha (57) and her two sons Bhavnesh (50) and Lalit (45) were among the deceased.
Bhavnesh's wife Savita (48) and their three children - Maneka (23), Neetu (25), and Dhirendra (15) were also found dead.
The others who were found hanging were Lalit's wife Tina (42), their 15-year-old son Dushyant and Pratibha's daughter Priyanka, who was engaged last month and was supposed to get married by the year end.
Police had also found 11 diaries which had "psychological musings" and things about attaining "road to God".