One family, 11 bodies but not enough answers

Police team gathered evidence in bits and pieces and how it managed to string together the events that led to the horrifying ‘mass suicide’ of a family in Burari, Delhi.

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Neighbourhood News Desk/Avi Arya: Ten bodies hanging from the iron grill of a ventilation shaft, one lying on the floor, one sick dog barking furiously and an open house with no apparent signs of struggle – even to experienced investigators, the scene at the house in Burari was unlike anything they had encountered before.

Investigation

Over the next few days, a team of 100 members of the crime branch questioned over 150 people, examined hundreds of pages of recovered notes, analysed the call details of 11 mobile phones and went through 72 hours of footage from CCTV cameras. Gearing up for what they knew would be a tedious probe. They said the recovery of some hand-written notes from the house gave the investigation a clear direction.

Ruling out theories

First thing the police had to do was rule out the possibility that the 10 people were murdered before hanging. One of the possibilities they were exploring was that the family was poisoned, but they found no evidence pointing to that. Another possibility that the family was killed before they were hanged, too, seemed unlikely. Some victims weighed 80-90 kgs. Hanging 11 living people with “clinical precision” would have left signs of struggle and would have required a “great preparation”.

Police will now conduct a “psychological autopsy” of the dead before submitting their findings in court.

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