Netflix released a spine chilling three-episode documentary of the tragic mass suicide of 11 members of the Bhatia family in the Burari area of India’s capital New Delhi named “House of Secret: The Burari Deaths”.
The show is not suitable for underage viewers and the investigation left the audience shocked to their very core.
It was just another morning in the Burari area of India’s capital city New Delhi in 2018. The residents were preparing to go to work but were intrigued to find a milk shop – which was usually crowded with customers in the mornings – closed.
A senior citizen, who got intrigued by the shop’s closure, went to its owner’s house. He knocked the door but found it open. He went to the floor where the Bhatia family were residing and saw a hair raising sight.
Some members of the family were found hanging from the ceiling’s ventilator. Shocked and scared, he ran away from the scene after which the word spread that a mass suicide had taken place.
The 11 deceased members of the family were identified as Narayani Devi (80), Lalit Bhatia (50), Savita (48), Tina (42), Pratibha Bhatia (57), Priyanka (33), Nitu (25), Monu (23), Dhruv (15) and Shivam (15).
It was breaking news for all the channels of the country and thousands of people used to come to the scene whether to gawp or record the scene.
The police arrived on the scene and sealed the area to launch an investigation. They found cotton it the ears and noticed all of them were blindfolded and their mouths were taped.
They found Devi lying dead beside her bed.
The police first thought it to be a murder case but the theory was ruled out as there were no traces of forced entry or the victims being poisoned. However, the remaining family members were still adamant about it being investigated as a murder.
House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths comes with interviews from the deceased family members’ relatives, friends and residents of the area. It was mentioned that no one would call it a mass suicide as they were living happily and their business was thriving as well.
It was mentioned that younger family members were well educated while Priyanka had got engaged as was to tie the knot two weeks later.
The investigators then came across a series of 11 diaries that were written over the course of a decade. The last pages were about the suicide plan, the entire detail and step by step guide as to how it will take place.
The police investigation turned towards Lalit who was held responsible for the incident.
According to the report, it all started when the 50-year-old had suffered a motorcycle accident in which he suffered a head injury that led to changes in his behaviour. It further mentioned that once he had a spat with the owners of his shop after which he got beaten up after which he lost consciousness. He was then locked inside a room that was set on fire.
Lalit regained consciousness and contacted his brother for help. He was rescued eventually but was admitted to a hospital for several days. While in a state of trauma, he lost his power to speak after which he used to speak in writing and sign language.
He regained his speech gradually which led to his family members believing it happened due to religious practices.
The diaries mentioned that began telling everyone that he was getting possessed by his late father, Bhopal Singh, after which they started to believe him as well.
Psychologists, on the other hand, believed it to be a case of psychosis, that makes the person see and listen to things that are unreal and has an impact on mental capacity as well.
They added that the situation could have been different if Lalit had been treated for both physical and mental illnesses.
The things that were in his head for the past 10 years were being recorded in the diary whereas his family members were blindly following him.
The documentary further shows there were instructions based on capital investment and the business decisions which had indeed yielded dividends. It made the family members believed that Singh had come back from the dead and was giving instructions through the 50-year-old son.
The Bhatia family members were then to commit the modus operandi of mass suicide which made them believe that it help them attain salvation.
They were told that the they would only hang themselves for a while till Singh comes and frees them all.
A security camera footage also showed that family members preparing to hang themselves while the prayer was taking place.
Some of the deceased family members were seen bringing stools, wires and other equipment in the house.
The Delhi Police said that it would have been better if it was termed accidental death as none of them had the intention to die and thought that some of them thought that they will be rescued by someone.
On the other hand, mental health experts believed that the Burari deaths incident was the result of a psychological disorder, adding that such tragic incidents will continue to happen if mental illnesses are not addressed.
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