The Delhi Police have taken its forensic team to Burari in north Delhi to launch an investigation into the death of 11 family members who were found dead in their home and their bodies were found hanging and blindfolded in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The bodies are of seven females and four males. The deceased include an elderly woman, her two sons, their wives, five children and the elderly woman’s daughter.
During a search of the house in Burari, in the north of the capital, hand-written notes were found that pointed “toward observance of some definite spiritual or mystical practices by the whole family,” police said in a statement.
“Coincidentally, these notes have strong similarity with the manner in which the mouths, eyes etc of the deceased were tied and taped,” the statement said.
Police officer Vineet Kumar said authorities began their investigation after they received a call Sunday morning that some “members of a family have committed suicide.”
He, however, said that no suicide note was found, and that police were investigating whether the victims died by suicide or were killed.
There were no bullet marks on the victims’ bodies and there was no sign of forced entry into the house, Kumar said. “We’re yet to reach any conclusion whatsoever,” he said.
Police said in the statement that a murder case had been registered, though a police official said both murder and suicide were being investigated.
The statement said that the house had not been ransacked, and that no valuables were found to be missing.
Ten bodies, blindfolded by cotton and pieces of cloth, were found hanging from an iron grill used as a ventilator in the home’s courtyard, while the body of the 77-year-old woman was lying on the floor of the house, said the police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The family had lived in the house for more than two decades, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported. It said the house belonged to a businessman who ran a plywood shop and dairy.
The newspaper said that at around 8am on Sunday, a neighbour with whom the businessman used to go for morning walks, went to see him and found the door of the house open and the 10 people, including the businessman, hanging. He raised an alarm and people called the police.