Burari hangings: Crime Branch suspects Lalit visited cremation grounds

New Delhi,   The Delhi Police Crime Branch investigating the June 30 hanging of 11 members of a Burari family here suspects that one of the deceased, Lalit Bhatia, visited cremation grounds and was interested in ghosts and spirits, an official said on Friday.

The theory was based on an entry in the registers seized from the house in Sant Nagar in north Delhi. Police has said the handwriting is of Lalit’s now-dead niece Priyanka.

The Crime Branch official said Priyanka had ‘liked’ a Facebook page hosting content on ghosts as well as pages with spiritual content, astrology and motivational thoughts.

He said Lalit researched death and the mysteries of soul, apart from watching on his mobile phone the videos on paranormal and ghosts on ‘YouTube’ and other Internet platforms.

A Crime Branch team has also visited Rajasthan’s Udaipur to quiz the family of Lalit’s wife Tina, who was among the 11 family members found hanging on June 30.

“We wanted to know if Tina had shared something about Lalit or the activities of her in-laws with her family. It will help us analyse the nature of Lalit and other dead family members,” a senior official said on the condition of anonymity.

Besides, the Crime Branch recorded the statement of 13 relatives who stayed at the Sant Nagar house for 10 days from June 14 onwards due to engagement of Priyanka that was held on June 16. After they returned to their respective homes, Lalit had started the ritual from June 24 that finally ended with the hanging of 11 family members, police claims.

“These relatives can reveal what they felt while staying with the family, especially Lalit’s behaviour in these 10 days,” the officer said.

The Crime Branch has given a clean chit to occultist Geeta Ma who was in touch with the family, even a section of media had claimed her involvement, Deputy Commissioner of Police Joy N. Tirkey said.

Investigators are convinced that it was a case of mass suicide during a ritual performed by the family which was suffering from a shared psychological disorder.

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