Sunday 26 May 2019

Ritual killing fears after 11 family members found dead

Locals watch as an ambulance takes away one of the bodies. Photo: Getty Images
Locals watch as an ambulance takes away one of the bodies. Photo: Getty Images

Aijaz Hussain

Eleven members of an extended family were found dead at their home in New Delhi in what police believe could have been a ritual killing.

Ten of the bodies were blindfolded and hanging from a ventilation grille in the courtyard of the home.

The final victim, a 77-year-old woman, was found slumped on the floor.

A search of the house in the Indian capital's Burari village uncovered handwritten notes that point "toward observance of some definite spiritual or mystical practices by the whole family," police said.

The police statement added: "Coincidentally, these notes have strong similarity with the manner in which the mouths, eyes etc of the deceased were tied and taped."

Local reports said the notes spoke of how "the human body is temporary and one can overcome fear by covering their eyes and mouth".

Police spokesman Vineet Kumar said the force began investigating after they received a call yesterday morning that some "members of a family have committed suicide".

But he said no suicide note had been found, and that police were investigating whether the victims - the elderly woman, her two sons and their wives, a daughter and five of her grandchildren - 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, Mr Kumar said.

Police also revealed that the house had not been ransacked, and that no valuables were found to be missing.

The family had lived in the house for more than two decades, the 'Hindustan Times' newspaper reported.

It added that the house belongs to a businessman who ran a plywood shop and dairy.

It is understood the alarm was raised by a neighbour when the shop failed to open as usual in the morning.

Irish Independent

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