Piecing together details of the autopsy and writings found in the house in Burari, the police said Lalit Chundawa, the son of 77-year-old Narayani Devi, was the “brain” behind the deaths.There seems to be no “outsider’s role” in the deaths of 11 members of a Delhi family found hanging in their home according to a security footage exclusively accessed by NDTV, and notes filling 11 diaries written over 11 years.
Footage from a camera with a view of the entrance of the Chundawat house shows a woman of the family bringing in the five stools used in the mass hangings – exactly at 10 pm. This followed a script in one of the diaries found after the deaths.
The footage gives glimpses of a family voluntarily following the instructions of a man possessed – Lalit Chundawat, 45, the younger son of the 77-year-old matriarch Narayani Devi. The diary notes were his, and indicate that Lalit Chundawat hallucinated about his dead father advising him on salvation.
The Delhi Police crime branch seized more documents and diaries from the Bhatia residence, where 11 of a family were found dead, and found that the matriarch Narayan Devi’s 33-year-old grand-daughter, who got engaged last month and was about to get married by the year-end, was a Manglik.
As per the crime branch report, the family initially faced troubles in finding a suitable match for Priyanka following which Narayan Devi’s son Lalit Bhatia began performing havans/pooja at home, which he claimed was also attended by deceased’s father. Some other papers that were found indicated that Lalit had assumed his fathers alter ego and would often talk and behave like him. He would also observe ‘maun vrat’ sometimes.
The diary notes also show that the family may have thought the spirit of Lalit’s father would save them. 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.”
Footage shows that the family’s youngest, 12-year-old Dhruv and 15-year-old Shivam, brought the wires used in the hangings. They were tied up by their parents.
The next morning, 10 members of the Chundawat family, including the schoolboys and a young woman engaged to be married, were found hanging in the hallway of what has come to be known as the “house of horrors”. They were all blindfolded, gagged and bound. The 11th, Narayani Devi, was found dead on the floor, also from hanging.
“This was a final thanksgiving to the spirits,” said a police officer, explaining that the family had attributed a run of good fortune to Lalit’s instructions.
In the final diary entry on June 30 (Saturday), there were instructions titled “Bhagwaan ka raasta (Road to God)”. It said nine people would hang from the “jaal” (a mesh on their ceiling) and one person, “Baby” – the widowed sister of Lalit and his older brother Bhuvanesh – would be near the mandir (temple).
The notes detailed the exact time for specific tasks; food had to be ordered at 10 pm, “mother would feed everyone roti” and the “kriya (final act)” would be performed at 1 am.
The steps were followed to the second, according to the timeline pieced together by the police with help from the diary notes and CCTV footage.