The family found dead in north Delhi’s Burari on Sunday didn’t expect to die in the ritualistic hanging, an entry in one of the 11 diaries seized by the police has suggested. According to this entry that details how 11 members of the Chundawat household hanged themselves last weekend, they expected to be saved just in time by the spirit of Lalit Chundawat’s father.
It seems that Lalit Chundawat hallucinated about his dead father advising him on salvation, the police say after reviewing the 11 diaries that he had dictated over the last 11 years.Mostly it was his niece, Priyanka Chundawat, who took notes.
The last sentence in the final diary, written on the day of the suicides, reads: “…keep water in a cup, when it changes colour, I will appear and save you.” After the “ritual”, everyone was to untie each other.
The police say this entry could explain why a family, which by all accounts was looking forward to the future, was found dead.
Priyanka, who was engaged to be married on June 17, and, according to a cousin, had chatted with him about her wedding shopping.
A video of the engagement party video that had two women and two boys dancing to a popular Hindi song was earlier seen to contradict the earlier police theory of a mass suicide.
The lone survivor in the grisly scene was the family’s dog, tied to the grill on the roof.
There were no signs of robbery or struggle.
The security footage recovered from a CCTV camera installed opposite the house, which has been accessed by NDTV, shows the family prepping for the hanging voluntarily.
According to the police, 10 of them were found bound and hanging in their home. The eleventh, 77-year-old matriarch Narayani Devi, was found in an adjacent room.
A police officer said the family had been maintaining a diary for some years that contained “quite a graphic description” which matched the condition of the bodies at the scene of the crime.
The notes also contained a description of the family’s final meal – a stack of 20 loaves of rotis, or flatbread, delivered to the family home earlier at 10.39 pm on Saturday.
The CCTV footage shows Narayani Devi’s eldest son Bhuvanesh taking the dog for a short walk some time later.
Their neighbor Gurcharan Singh, 79, found them dead on Sunday morning when the family did not open their convenience store. He saw the 10 bodies hanging and called the police.
For more Delhi news, click here