Burari Deaths: Son, Daughter Refute Police Version of Mass Suicide

“My family cannot commit suicide. They didn’t follow any baba or tantrik,” said Narayan Devi’s daughter.

3 min read

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad

Video Producer: Shohini Bose

The death of 11 persons of a family found hanging inside their home in Burari, Delhi, remains an unsolved mystery. Relatives and neighbours refuse to believe the police’s version that the deaths were mass suicide.

Narayan Devi, the head of the house, had three sons and two daughter. The Quint spoke to one of the daughters who lives in Panipat.

My mother, brothers, sister and rest of the family members cannot commit suicide. They were religious and simple people. They were not following any baba or tantrik. We are not superstitious people. I spoke to my brother, Lalit, on Saturday. We discussed family affairs as my sister Pratibha’s daughter, Priyanka, got engaged on 17 June. How can they commit suicide?
Sujata, daughter of Narayan Devi, to The Quint
Sujata, Narayan Devi’s daughter (second from right).
(Photo: Poonam Agarwal/The Quint)

When asked about the register that was found inside the house during investigation, she said:

Police have not shown us the register or any details written in it. I don’t know how the police spread in the media that the suicides were scripted. 

Son Dinesh, who lives in Rajasthan, told The Quint, “My family did not commit suicide. I would not like to comment further.”

What About the 11 Pipes?

Eleven pipes were also found near the entrance of the house. Explaining the same, Sujata said:

Some renovation work was going on at home. I never bothered to ask my brothers about these 11 pipes. In fact, I never noticed it. How can the media or anyone conclude that these pipes were fixed on the wall because my family was planning suicide and that they wanted their souls to pass through these pipes?

Witness Who First Saw the Bodies

Gurucharan Singh.
(Photo: Poonam Agarwal/The Quint)

The Quint spoke to Gurucharan Singh, who is a family friend, neighbour and the first person who saw the bodies of the Bhatia family hanging inside the home on 1 July.

Every day at 5 am, I leave home to purchase milk and come back by 5.30 am. The grocery shop that the family runs opens by 6 am. On Sunday, the shutters were down till 7 am. We saw that the milkman had left the milk outside the shop. Kuldeep, who stays in the neighbourhood, started calling the Bhatia family from the ground floor asking when they are opening the shop. When he didn’t get any response, he called me. I went upstairs to their home. 
Gurucharan Singh to The Quint

When Gurucharan reached the home, he found that the main gate was kept ajar and it was not locked from inside. “When I opened the door, I saw nine bodies hanging in the living room. The tenth person, Pratibha (Narayan Devi’s daughter), was hanging next to the window in the living room. I did not see Narayan Devi’s body. I came down in panic and told everyone. Then, Kuldeep called the police control room at 7.30 am. I don’t know what led to their death. They were religious and good people. We are very shocked,” he added.

Another family friend, who frequently visited the Bhatia home and wished not to identify herself, told The Quint that their home was under renovation.

I asked Lalit bhaiyya about the pipes that are coming out of the walls. He said that those were for ventilation and nothing else. I believed him. I never saw any baba or tantrik at their home. But I can’t be sure if they visited any baba at all. All I know is that they were very religious and had faith in all religions. They often went to gurudwaras and temples. 
Family friend to The Quint

Recalling the time when she last met the family, she said:

I spoke to Lalit bhaiyya at his shop on Saturday. He said that everyone was busy with the arrangements for the marriage of his niece, Priyanka, who got engaged on 17 June. The boy’s family came here when they heard about the death. They were equally shocked. 

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