The mystery of the deaths in Burari’s house of horrors appears to have been solved with the discovery of CCTV footage from an adjacent house. What remains unsolved is the significance of the 11 pipes going into nowhere. The number 11 has been running through this case repeatedly.
Eleven people had died in the house after 11 diaries were maintained for 11 years. The diaries contained instructions for a ritualistic mass hanging – laid down by Lalit Chundawat, 45, the younger son of 77-year-old Narayani Devi. Both were found dead on Sunday morning, along with nine other members of the family.
The police are yet to solve the mystery of the pipes – all 11 of them protruding from a wall facing an empty plot, where there was no water outlet. Four of the pipes were straight, seven are bent, one a little away from the others. The locals pointed at the similarities – four of the dead were men and seven women. One of the women, Narayani Devi, had died in a room away from the other family members.
The contents of the diaries had were simpler. They showed the family really did not expect to die. The last sentence in the final diary, written on the day of the suicides, read: “…keep water in a cup, when it changes colour, I will appear and save you.”
The police said apparently Lalit Chundawat was hallucinating about getting instructions from his father, who died a decade ago.
The diaries were maintained by Lalit Chundawat’s niece, 30-year-old Priyanka, who was to get married in November. It was the finding of a suitable boy for her, and the reversal of the family’s financial fortunes that had led to their faith in Lalit Chundawat’s instructions. Some of the notes were written by Lalit Chundawat, the police said.
The diaries were maintained by Lalit Chundawat’s niece
The CCTV footage, discovered today, provided a record of the last hours of the family. Various members of the family could be seen in it, making arrangements for the ritual hanging. A woman was seen bringing in the stools on which they stood, the two teenagers — 12-year-old Dhruv and 15-year-old Shivam — could be seen bringing in wires used in the hanging.
The next morning, all of them were found dead, blindfolded and gagged. Some of them had their hands and feet tied.